Burning House is one of several house-themed sculptures created by H. C. (Horace Clifford) Westermann. This example, made as a gift for then long-distance girlfriend Joanna Beall, is meticulously handcrafted and imbued with personal references. During this time, "Cliff" and Joanna corresponded daily and made plans to marry in March of 1959. The bottom of this sculpture is signed "Love Cliff, 1958." Another personal touch is Westermann's pet name for Joanna, "Joanny," painted on a glass window in the tower. In contrast to the light-hearted character of the brightly colored house itself, tin flames spew out of the front and one of the side windows. A pull chain dropping out of a hole in the back of the house connects to a brass bell inside the structure. It is unknown if the bell was intended to sound as an alarm bell (in connection to the flames), a school bell, or as a wedding bell, perhaps as a token of the artist's love for his soon-to-be-wife.