After lava claimed their dream home, a family is buoyed by a wave of support

PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two years ago, the Peters family moved from Leeward Oahu to the Big Island's Leilani Estates.

They never imagined lava would inundate the neighborhood and destroy their home, which they purchased for $145,000.

But that's exactly what happened.

The little family was able to make one desperate drive to their home, lava 10 feet from their home, and grab what they could before fleeing.

"It was an adrenaline rush. I was hyperventilating because I didn't know what to grab. It was the panic of what we can get because I was hearing trees falling down," Sina Peters said.

Her husband, Travis, said when they were at the home they kissed each other and ran to the car.

Later, they learned from friends that their house burned down.

"It was a little devastating even though we knew it was going to be gone," Sina Peters said.

Returning to see the devastation of fresh lava covering their lush green yard was heartbreaking.

It was a home they had treasured with their two girls, 6-year-old Sania and 2-year-old Telila.

But they did get some good news.

The Peters had a fire insurance policy so the they got an advancement of 75 percent of their coverage.

The county also sent the Peters a letter saying their property value will be listed as zero next year and their mortgage through their bank, Central Pacific Bank, is giving them a 6-month break on their payments.

They're thankful for the unexpected financial break and overwhelming support from the community.

With a GoFundMe account, they've also been able to raise about $45,000 to help rebuild.

"Considering our situation, I feel that we are extremely blessed and gifted so many things," Sina Peters said.

Peters, who is Native Hawaiian, also has a sense of acceptance about what happened.

She said their land truly belongs to Pele — and what happened was her will.

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