HONOLULU — A stream of lava set a home on fire Monday in a rural Hawaii town that has been watching the slow-moving flow for months. The molten rock hit the house around midday. The home’s renters already had left the residence in Pahoa, the largest town in Big Island’s isolated and mostly agricultural Puna district.
It could take 30 to 40 minutes for the home to burn down, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira. The lava from Kilauea volcano emerged from a vent in June and entered Pahoa Oct. 26, when it crossed a country road at the edge of town. Since then, it smothered part of a cemetery and burned down a garden shed. It also burned tires, some metal materials and mostly vegetation in its path.