Video captures lava igniting home in Kalapana subdivision

Published: Nov. 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2010 at 2:48 AM HST
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By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

KALAPANA, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lava destroyed a home Saturday afternoon in the Kalapana Gardens subdivision on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was the second home this year claimed by a lava flow from Kilauea volcano.

Photographer and blogger Leigh Hilbert took dramatic video of the home's destruction from property across the way. He had also photographed the home the night before, when the lava was just a few feet from the residence. The pictures show the ominous glow from the molten lava surrounding the house.

"The lava flow, for five or six days, was on her property, actually slowly progressing and rising and filling, advancing towards the house and touching the house yesterday afternoon," Hilbert said.

Fire crews looked on, unable to do anything to save the property. The firefighters had been there, along with the home's owner, through Friday night.

"I talked to fire officials that were standing outside at three in the morning," said Hilbert. "They'd been there all night into the evening, and they in fact said that she (the owner) was in the house, asleep."

The owner, identified only as Jean, can be seen in the video in front of her home, taking pictures of it as it burns.

Last July, a lava flow destroyed the nearby home of Gary Sleik. His home and the one destroyed Saturday were built on a 1990 lava flow.

Nearly an hour after the fire began, the last wall of the house collapsed, leaving only what appeared to be a small adjoining storage area. Meanwhile, the flow continued its slow march through the subdivision.

"The lava flow that's going through now is filling and pooling and rising and plating up and moving forward," Hilbert said. "it continues today, so we don't know where this is gonna end up."

Hawaii County officials said there is no immediate threat to the few other homes in the area from the flow.

Related: Video camera captures heart-breaking moment when lava devoured home

Related: Leigh Hilbert's Hawaiian Lava Daily blog

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