Home Atop a Fire Tower


We’ve seen quite a few ingenious tiny houses, but this Fire Tower home is certainly one of the coolest. About two years ago, Dabney Tompkins and Alan Colley decided to quit their jobs and make a fire lookout station into their full time home. Their home really is a “treehouse without a tree” as they like to call it.

Their journey began by renting several converted fire towers to get the feel for living in one of them. Since they liked it so much, they eventually constructed their own, custom built one. At first it was just a weekend getaway cabin, but they soon became so enamored by it that they quickly made it their full time home. Their residence is raised 40 feet above the ground and is located on a 160-acre parcel of land near Tiller, Oregon. They did most of the work themselves, though they did hire a local builder and engineer for the more challenging tasks.


The home is accessible by four flights of stairs and measures 388 square feet (36 sq m) and features a kitchen, an open plan living/dining/working area, and a bedroom, which is raised above the living area and accessible via a ladder. While the home may be tiny, it does not feel cramped due to a large outdoor deck, which offers stunning views of the surrounding Umpqua National Forest. They also have a small garden where they grow their own fruits and vegetables.



The home was also fitted with a solar power array, which takes care of all their energy needs. Since the fire lookouts didn’t have indoor bathrooms, they constructed an outhouse on ground level, while the shower is installed on the deck. According to the couple, it’s all a part of the charm of outdoor living, though, for most people, an indoor shower might still be preferable for the winter months at least. The home also features a wood-burning, spring-fed hot tub.

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