While lava has been slowly making its way toward rural Hawaii communities for the past few months, it took a stream of lava only 45 minutes to incinerate an empty home.
The lava flow from an erupting volcano on Big Island destroyed a single home on Monday, which marks the first home destroyed by the stream that has been moving toward the village of Pahoe for weeks, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The home was already evacuated and there were no injuries from the lava that began oozing from Kilauea Volcano in June. According to officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense, no other homes are in immediate danger. The nearest home is about a half-mile away, Fox News reported.
The family that lost their rented home to the lava is constructing a new home on land covered by lava many years ago. Margaret and John Byrd lived in the home with their family for eight years and decided to leave in September when it seemed that the lava would take the home, ABC News reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Dianna Wilcox” author_title=”Daughter of the homeowners”]
Yesterday, as the house was burning, we were pouring the foundation for our new home. It was really a strange coincidence.
Wilcox said she attempted to make it back to the home in time to watch it burn, but it had already collapsed when she arrived. The home, which had an estimated value of $200,000, was not insured.
The home was ignited around noon local time by a small stream of lava that broke away from the main flow on Sunday, while the main flow came to a near standstill just 480 feet away from Pahoa Village Road, the main street through the village.
The only other structures that have been destroyed in the area were a cattle-feeding shelter and storage shed, which were destroyed in October. Last month, a lava stream came within 100 feet of another home but left it unharmed.
Residents of nearly 50 homes in the projected lava path have prepared to evacuate, and many have emptied homes.