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Paradise lost: Lava engulfs Hawaiian home

Gary Sleik had known for three years the end was coming. Early Sunday morning he looked on — bottle of wine in hand — as his two-story wooden house on Hawaii’s Big Island was engulfed by fiery lava.
/ Source: TODAY.com

Gary Sleik had known the end was near. Early Sunday morning he looked on — bottle of wine in hand — as his two-story wooden house on Hawaii’s Big Island was engulfed by fiery lava.

Sleik’s home was located near Kilauea, a volcano which has been continuously erupting since 1983. He has known for almost three years that the lava flow, which has burned down more than 100 other houses, wouldn’t spare his.

When the lava, moving at a pace of 254 feet every 24 hours, reached the house, it ignited Sleik’s staircase.

With the company of his friend Darlene Cripps, Sleik watched the fire take over his home, telling reporters that he felt relief that it was finally over.

By sunrise, according to the UK Telegraph, the only parts of the house that were still visible were the roof and water tank.

Kilauea, one of five volcanoes on the island, has erupted 34 times since 1952 and destroyed the nearby town Kalapana in 1990.

The lava flows have become a tourist attraction as visitors flock to see fiery explosions of rocks and the plumes of steam created when lava reaches the sea.