This incredible image showing a “miracle” house that remained untouched as deadly fires tore through Maui has shocked the world.

The US island state of Hawaii has been battling terrifying wind-driven wildfires since the start of the month, with a state of emergency declared on August 6.

The death toll from the historic town of Lāhainā currently sits at 114 and is expected to rise, while approximately 1,300 people remain missing.

The disaster prompted mass evacuations and has caused widespread damage, with the fire estimated to have destroyed over 3,000 homes and racking up $3.2 billion in property damage.

Shocking landscape images of the ashen, grey-toned remains have showcased the degree of wreckage, pulling on heartstrings around the world.

But now one of these pictures has gone viral for a very obvious reason.

Amid the ashen destruction and despair left in Lāhainā’s famous High Street lays one seemingly undamaged home, sitting in stark contrast to its surroundings.

The house, with its crisp white facade and cheerful red roof, appears completely untouched amid the piles of scorched rubble.

While some have questioned whether the photo was digitally altered, the owners of the $4 million house confirmed it is all too real.

“We lost neighbours in this, and neighbours lost everything,” Dora Atwater Millikin, who owns the home with her husband Dudley Long Millikin III, told the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s a 100% wood house so it’s not like we fireproofed it or anything.”

Although they did nothing to fire proof the home, the couple did recently replace the asphalt roof with a heavy-gauge metal one, and cut down on foliage surrounding the home in order to reduce the risk of termites spreading to the house.

Ms Atwater Millikin, 63, said none of the changes that were made were done with the idea of fireproofing in mind – but it was these changes that ultimately saved it from ruin.

“We love old buildings, so we just wanted to honour the building,” she said. “And we didn’t change the building in any way – we just restored it,” she said.

“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.

“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.”

Roofs are a primary factor that contribute to the flammability of a home, because they can serve as large landing pads for falling embers.

The couple were visiting family in Massachusetts when the fire began.

Ms Atwater Millikin and her husband have lived on Maui for close to 10 years, and bought the house about three years ago.

She is an artist whose paintings focus on New England coastal scenery, and he is a recently retired portfolio manager.

A day after the fire, the county called the couple to inform them their house had survived. Since then many have dubbed their home a ‘miracle house’.

Governor Josh Green has said he doesn’t want to make guesses about the final death toll, but he believes the count will continue to climb by some ten people a day for the next few weeks.



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By Rahul

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