First house claimed by Puna lava flow - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

First house claimed by Puna lava flow

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PAHOA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The first home has been claimed by the Puna lava flow, just across the street from the Pahoa Transfer Station along Cemetery Road/Apaa Street.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials confirm it ignited just before noon, the home was completely destroyed and collapsed around 12:45 p.m.

Officials say the property owner was on site when the lava reached the 1,100 square foot home. A second structure on the residential lot, a barn/garage, is still standing but officials say the lava flow – which has currently stalled within two feet – may still bring it down, though they're hopeful it has started to cool and may spare the detached carport.

The family who leased the property for the last eight years moved their belongings and the horses they were raising and training there weeks ago. They spoke with Hawaii News Now and expressed their sadness the home was taken.

One of the residents who lived at the home, John Byrd, explained that while this is a loss, the wait can finally be over for them. 

"We can close the book on it because the house burned finally you know, so we're on to our new story but it's going to affect a lot of people for a long long time," Byrd said. "I don't think it's short lived. It's still pumping it's going to be agonizing for a lot of folks and I wish everybody the best and as long as the 'ohana, everybody stays safe, that's the main thing. Property and stuffs can all be re-done." 

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says the lava flow breakout is currently about 400 yards from the next closest residential structure. 

The leading edge of the flow remains stalled 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road.

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