This photo has become one of the most viewed on the web in recent days. A single house with a red roof surrounded by ruins burned almost to the foundations. Journalists finally got interested in his story.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, the surviving house in Lahaina is not the only property to survive the nightmarish fire on the island. But his case is special because square kilometers around it have been burned, and he looks untouched even by the flames. There were even questions as to whether the photo had not been digitally processed.
The house that the whole of the United States is talking about
“This situation is too real,” commented Dora Atwater Millikin, who owns the surviving home with her husband. “We lost our neighbors and they lost everything,” she added in an interview with journalists. She still cannot fully understand why her house has survived.
While the fire ravaged Maui, Hawaii, Dora and her husband were visiting family in Massachusetts. The couple recently renovated their 100-year-old home, but did not carry out any work on fire resistance. “It’s an all-timber house, so it’s not flameproof or anything like that,” Millikin said.
How could only one house survive from the entire estate?
She only admitted that the roof was replaced, which was covered with sheet metal instead of the previous wood and roofing felt. In addition, stones were placed on the ground, which could also stop the fire to some extent. “While all this was going on, there were huge chunks of wood flying in the air,” Dora was saying. – When they fell on the roofs and they were covered with tar paper, they set them on fire – she added.
The woman suspects that clearing the area around the house from weeds and bushes also played a role. As she emphasized, in many neighbors the vegetation quickly caught fire, and the temperature led to exploding windows and igniting fires inside the buildings. The house with the red roof was not so close to the neighbors either. It had only the road on one side and the ocean on the other.
“One of the biggest sources of fuel in the fire was the houses themselves. So if one caught fire and another was very close, the radiant heat could set another building on fire, explained the owner of the surviving house.
Burnt to the ground Lahaina
On Wednesday, August 9, Hurricane Dora spread fire across the tourist resort of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The element quickly occupied many districts of the resort, forcing people to flee. Unfortunately, many people failed to escape the raging element.
Hawaiian authorities announced shortly after the fire that the death toll from the fires on the island of Maui, Hawaii, was over 80. Governor Josh Green, speaking to CNN, cited a previous natural disaster – the 1960 tsunami that killed 61 people. “I’m afraid that this time it’s very likely that our number of deaths will far exceed it,” he said.
Officials estimated that hundreds of buildings and structures were damaged as a result of search and rescue efforts. According to Governor Green, thousands of people have been left homeless and will have to find shelter. The authorities were looking for places in hotels for them.
“The heart of the city of Lahaina, Maui’s hardest hit community, has been completely destroyed,” County Mayor Richard Bissen said Thursday. “Everything is gone,” the mayor said. “Everything is completely burnt,” he added.