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Owner of the ‘miracle house’ spared by the devastating Maui wildfires speaks out
Featured Image Credit: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images. Mengshin Lin for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Owner of the ‘miracle house’ spared by the devastating Maui wildfires speaks out

Dora Atwater Millikin reveals why she believes her house was untouched despite being '100 per cent wood'.

The owners of the infamous Lahaina seaside home have spilled the secrets as to why their property was unscathed by the devastating Maui fires.

Aerial photos show that Dora Atwater Millikin and her husband, Dudley Long Millikin III's house, has been left in pristine condition despite all of its surroundings being burnt to a crisp in the historic Hawaiian town.

Recently, Dora sat down with The LA Times to discuss why they believe their $4 million (£2.03m) home withheld the wildfire that engulfed Hawaii the past month.

“It’s a 100 per cent wood house so it’s not like we fireproofed it or anything,” Atwater told the outlet.

AFP/Getty Images

The couple replaced the asphalt roof with heavy-gauge metal to reduce the risk of termites roaming free.

According to Dora, the property would have a wooden shake or thinner-grade corrugated tin roof before renovations.

“When all this was happening, there were pieces of wood - six, 12 inches long - that were on fire and just almost floating through the air with the wind and everything,” she said.

“They would hit people's roofs, and if it was an asphalt roof, it would catch on fire. And otherwise, they would fall off the road and then ignite the foliage around the house.”

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) reports that roofs can make houses extremely vulnerable to ignition through direct flame contact or by the burning of debris that builds within the roof cavity or on the roof’.

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Since fire has ripped through her town, Dora has dubbed her home a ‘miracle house’, adding that she has ‘lost neighbors’.

And the ones who have survived have ‘lost everything’ too.

So far, the death toll from the disaster has climbed up to 114 people, as per NBC News.

The Governor of Hawaii Josh Green has said that number could still rise significantly, telling CNN: "Over the course of the next several weeks, we’ll be able to confirm who passed away. But it’s gonna be very difficult going."

At least 2,200 buildings and other structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fires, with more than 2,170 acres being burnt.

In regions where the fire has since retreated, authorities warn that residents may still face issues due to toxic byproducts, which have likely infiltrated the area, especially tainting local drinking water.

If you would like to donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund, which is supporting communities affected by the wildfires, click here for more information

Topics: News, World News