Surviving the Blaze: The Untouched Red Lahaina House in the Midst of Maui Fires

The recent Maui fires have devastated the town of Lahaina, reducing neighborhoods to ashes and rubble. However, amidst the destruction, a single red-roofed house on Front Street has emerged as a symbol of hope and resilience. Owner Trip Millikin and his wife were shocked to find their century-old wood house still standing, while the surrounding area lay in ruins. The miraculous survival of their home has left them wondering what factors contributed to its resilience.

Pictures of the untouched house quickly went viral, with many comparing it to a photoshopped image. However, Mr. Millikin confirmed that the images were real and described how he and his wife burst into tears of relief upon seeing their home intact. The couple had been on a trip to Massachusetts when news of the fire broke, leaving them with an anxious wait for information. The next morning, aerial footage showed their house untouched, bringing them both elation and guilt for the others who had lost everything.

The Millikins speculate that the renovations they had undertaken in the past may have played a role in preserving their home. Two years ago, they purchased the century-old property, which had previously served as a bookkeeper’s house for sugar plantation employees. Recognizing its disrepair, they embarked on a restoration project. Although their actions were not specifically aimed at fireproofing, the changes they made could have contributed to the house’s survival.

One notable modification was the replacement of the asphalt roof with a heavy-gauge metal one. According to Dora Atwater Millikin, the owner’s wife, this choice may have prevented the roof from catching fire when large pieces of burning wood fell onto it. In contrast, wooden houses with asphalt roofs in the vicinity were more susceptible to ignition. Additionally, surrounding the house with river stones and removing foliage from its immediate vicinity created a buffer zone that potentially shielded it from the flames.

Despite the unknown factors that ultimately saved their home, the Millikins express gratitude and a commitment to help those who were not as fortunate. While acknowledging the tragic loss of lives and property, they emphasize the importance of unity and rebuilding. Upon their safe return to Lahaina, they plan to open their home to those who have been displaced by the fires.

The resilience of the red Lahaina house serves as a reminder of human determination and the need for communities to come together in times of crisis. As the town begins its recovery, the story of this untouched home serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for those who have suffered immense loss. It also highlights the importance of taking necessary precautions and measures to protect our homes from potential disasters, even when their occurrence may seem unlikely.