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Hawaii Volcano Incinerates First House

The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii, Nov. 9, 2014.

A stream of lava set a home on fire in a rural Hawaiian town that has been watching a slow-moving flow for months.

The molten rock hit the house Monday in Pahoa, the largest town in the Big Island's mostly agricultural Puna district. The home's residents already had left the house, the first destroyed by the lava stream.

The lava from Kilauea volcano entered the town October 26. Its leading edge remains about 180 meters from central Pahoa.

Pahoa firefighters will let a structure hit by lava burn, but will fight fires that spread or threaten other structures.

A relative of the homeowners was planning to be at the site to watch the house burn. Officials made arrangements for homeowners to watch any homes burn as a means of closure and to document the destruction for insurance purposes.

Many residents have evacuated or are ready to leave if necessary.