A look into Hawaii residents' fight against fury of Kilauea volcano

VOLCANO, Hawaii (KABC) -- Some residents in Hawaii's Big Island are standing their ground against the fury of the Kilauea volcano as they try to protect their properties and their lives.

It's hell on earth in a place that's heaven to so many. In just a matter of hours, a virtually dormant fissure suddenly woke up and spewed fountains of lava down a molten stream and destroyed everything in its way.

Bruce Tickell owns two properties on the piece of paradise. He may soon have just one.

Arresting footage shows extent of Kilauea's devastating lava flow
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Aerial footage shows a sprawling lava flow from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

"We're ready to pretty much leave there in 10 minutes if we have to, and it's say goodbye to everything," he said.

Dona Mueller's home is just a few hundred yards from a molten sparkler that pops, groans and sometimes violently explodes.

At first, the constant earthquakes made it impossible to sleep, but when the nearby fissure opened up, it was impossible to even stay.

As the lava flow quickly approaches, her family has come to salvage her valuables and go. She's not taking much with her.

"There's not much. I can walk away. It's stuff," she said.

Just down the hill, Darryl Clinton is risking life and limb to protect two homes that belong to friends.

The yard is littered with fresh volcanic rock. Giant lava bombs have broken windows, dented the water catchment pool and taken out the septic tank. Just getting from one home to the other is a life-and-death game of frogger.

"Look up and watch them. Keep your eye on them. It's almost like catching a football, but you don't want to catch this football," Clinton said.

Clinton has been a quick study on the different sounds of the fissure -- the sounds he knows to ignore and the ones that scream.

Equipped with just a fire extinguisher and a garden hose, he's been spraying down the molten rocks that hit the house.

"The inside ones are the ones we're concerned about. These ones are the ones that catch the ceiling on fire," Clinton said.

It's man versus mother nature in a match Clinton intends to win.

At last check, Clinton was injured in his fight against the lava. Splatter from a fountain shattered the 57-year-old's shin. He was rushed by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center and is in stable condition. Hospital staff said they expect him to make a full recovery.

As of Tuesday, the volcano eruption has destroyed close to 50 structures and forced more than 2,000 people to evacuate.
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