How a 100-year-old house survived the Maui wildfires

How a 100-year-old house survived the Maui wildfires
Scale of Hawaii wildfire scarring on charred Maui land captured in aerial …

An 100-year-old house in Maui has been left standing after the surrounding area was destroyed by wildfires.

The red-roofed house, called a ‘miracle’, has been the centre of social media discussion, as many wondered how the house had managed to survive the fires

The owners of the house explained that it is a century old, and was previously a bookkeeper’s house for employees of a sugar plantation. They bought it two years ago, reports the BBC.

The husband and wife - Trip Millikin and Dora Atwater Milikin - explained that when they purchased the home it was in need of repair, so they sought to restore it, which may have been what saved the home.

One of the restorations, after they purchased the home, was to replace the old roof with heavy-gauge metal. They also surrounded the house with river stones and revamped the foliage around it.

AFP via Getty

“It’s a 100 per cent wood house, so it’s not like we fireproofed it or anything,” Dora told the Los Angeles Times. “If it was an asphalt roof, it would catch on fire. And otherwise, they would fall off the roof and then ignite the foliage around the house.”

She also added that the distance between their house and their neighbour may have stopped their house from catching on fire.

The owners were on a trip to Massachusetts when they heard about the fire, expecting to return to their house and belongings burnt down. But the next morning, footage showed there was intact.

“We started crying,” Trip told Honolulu Civil Beat. “I feel guilty. We still feel guilty.”

The couple said they hope to return to Lahaina once it is safe to do so, and they plan to offer up their home to those who have lost theirs.

Dora added: “Many people have died, so many people have lost everything and we need to look out for each other and rebuild. Everybody needs to help rebuild.”

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