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St. Louis native loses home to lava flow in Hawaii

THE BIG ISLAND, Hawaii - A Belleville woman who moved to Hawaii has now lost everything as lava demolished her home. Fox 2's Vic Fust spoke with her Wednesday as her family is looking to find her some help.

The lava is still flowing from Mt. Kilauea on the Big Island and demolishing everything in its path, including the house of Hope Northway. The 67-year-old built her dream home there two and a half years ago. Now it’s gone.

“News video I saw last night, I saw my house collapse. You could see the roof. The lava was probably 40 feet high from the ground,” she said.

The good news is Hope, her partner, and their dog Pele are safe. But they have lost everything. They put every penny into their new home and with only two hours to leave. Nature has brought them to their knees.

“There had not been an eruption of lava activity in this area in 300 years so no I didn’t think that would happen,” Northway said.

Hope also lost the inventory for her water treatment business. Her family here in St. Louis created a GoFundMe account to help Hope get back on her feet. They say she has never asked anyone for anything and is a kind person.

“She would do anything for anyone. That’s the type of person she is. So this is when she needs help from someone else,” said Carolyn Miller, Hope’s sister.

When Hope Northway found out about the GoFundMe, which is now up around $5,000, she was in shock, for a good reason.

“My partner cried. I've never been a person to ask for anything from other people. Very emotional,” Northway said.

Hope and her partner are now living with a friend. They did have fire insurance, but are not certain video will show the house burning before lava hit it.  She does add that the lava flows are continuing and redeveloping the landscape in its way.