'I'll stay until the last minute': Resident refuses to leave home despite lava threat

(Image: Brian Clement)
(Image: Brian Clement)

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been a rough few days for the 1,700 Leilani Estates residents who fled their homes, leaving behind treasured possessions — knowing that they may not have anything to return to.

Several residents have opted to stay in shelters across the island, or with family and friends. Michael Clemmons, however, has made the unpopular choice to stay in the increasingly hazardous neighborhood.

Clemmons retired in the Puna community five years ago — and he says he's not leaving.

"This is all I own, this is my house," Clemmons said. "I'll stay until the last minute."

In a video posted by CBS News, Clemmons can be seen posing with two shakas in front of a fissure near his home. Since Tuesday afternoon, 14 fissures have opened up near the Big Island neighborhood destroying at least 36 structures, including 27 homes.

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