LAHAINA, HAWAII: Amidst the ruins that now define Lahaina, there stands a coastal residence miraculously untouched by the catastrophic fires that ravaged the Maui town.
The proprietors of the dwelling, Dora Atwater Millikin and her spouse Dudley Long Millikin III, recently executed relatively minor adjustments to their $4 million abode, potentially instrumental in safeguarding it.
Miraculously spared from devastation
Aerial images depict the red-roofed house, adorned in a bright white exterior, remarkably unscathed amidst the grey and ashen backdrop that envelopes it. The ongoing death toll from the fire has tragically reached 114, with expectations of further escalation.
In an interview with the LA Times, Dora Atwater Millikin, 63, disclosed, “It’s a 100 percent wood house so it’s not like we fireproofed it or anything.” However, the couple did undertake recent measures such as replacing the asphalt roof with a robust metal one and reducing the foliage around the house to minimize termite risks.
A firefighting helicopter prepares to drop water near a home that was destroyed by a wildfire on August 11, 2023, in Kula, Hawaii (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)© Provided by Meaww
These changes were not initially intended for fireproofing, but they ultimately averted the house’s ruin. Dora recounted, “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.”
These flaming wood pieces posed a risk to other homes with asphalt roofs, which could catch fire upon impact.
Roofs play a pivotal role in a house’s susceptibility to fire due to the ample surface area where embers can land. The Millikins were away visiting family in Massachusetts when the fire erupted about a week and a half ago.
The wildfires ravaged the area (X/@jfandl325)© Provided by Meaww
Having lived in Maui for almost a decade, they acquired the house approximately three years ago. Dora is an artist whose work centers on New England coastal landscapes, while her husband is a recently retired portfolio manager.
In the aftermath of the fire, county officials reached out to the Millikins to convey that their home had miraculously survived. Since then, many have dubbed their residence a “miracle house.”
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