The wildfires that struck Maui earlier this month devastated the historic town of Lahaina, reducing nearly every building to ashy rubble — but one wooden house in the center of it all survived unscathed.

The owners of the house were shocked to find it still standing. They hadn’t made any efforts to fireproof their home, they told local news outlets.

red house standing amid completely burnt ashen rubble of surrounding homes with three green arrows pointing to its red roof and the space around it

It looks like it was photo-shopped in, homeowner Trip Millikin told the Honolulu Civil Beat, referring to how the white, red-roofed home now looks, as rubble surrounds it. Even the car in the driveway looks unscathed.

The good news is that many homeowners can do the same: keep a perimeter of at least five feet around the house totally free of dry or flammable vegetation or mulch, and keep the roof and gutters clear.

Remove anything flammable from underneath porches and decks, and install non-combustible 1/8-inch mesh screening on any vents to a crawl space or attic.

The house was pretty rundown when the Millikins bought it, so they decided to renovate it and preserve a piece of Lahaina history, the Civil Beat reported. That decision may have saved everything they own.

Atwater Millikin told The Los Angeles Times that she doesn’t quite understand why the home was spared, but she thinks it might have something to do with how they renovated it.

However, some of that is a lucky location: The ocean is protecting their deck. There’s a lot of space between them and the neighboring houses.

But the absence of mulch or dry plants around their house, or tree branches too close to it, means there’s no fuel to spread fire to the house itself.

An asphalt roof isn’t actually more flammable than metal. That would have been fine. But the fact that the Millikins’ roof is clear of debris certainly helped.

We still feel guilty, Trip Millikin told the Civil Beat, adding that he and his wife plan to open up the house to their neighbors who lost their homes. Let’s rebuild this together, Millikin told the Civil Beat. This house will become a base for all of us. Let’s use it.

Business Insider / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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Jump to the Beat
Jump to the Beat
22-08-23 14:32

(Mass)Tourism causes many infrastructural problems in many destinations, leading poverty and like in Hawaii and Maui wildfires.

Paradox Para
Paradox Para
22-08-23 23:29

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