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Fire-resistant homes are being built to withstand flames after people lost homes to wildfire
This is such a game-changer for people's livelihoods.
Michael Dabu
07.04.22

Who could possibly forget the deadliest wildfire that had happened in California in 2018? It was believed to be the most destructive wildfire ever which didn’t just turn homes into ashes but also took innocent lives.

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Paradise, California turned into a wasteland and listed 85 casualties from the wildfire. Nearly 20,000 homes and businesses were also turned into coal and ashes.

Years later, Paradise is slowly turning back into paradise.

If you happen to drive past Paradise today, you’d see signs of rebirth. The community is slowly getting back to its feet by rebuilding what the wildfire took away from them.

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An Ace Hardware store miraculously withstand the wildfire’s blaze and stood strong through the inferno known as the Camp Fire. The store is being managed by Mike Peterson, and like most people, he too lost his beloved home.

Unlike before, he is now filled with hope because of the progress that’s made by far by his community.

“A year ago, these three homes weren’t there,” he told CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. “A lot of people had their doubts about how many people would rebuild. It’s nice to see the progress for sure.”

Peterson, however, doesn’t plan in rebuilding an ordinary home.

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He wants to rebuild a home that will withstand future fires. He hopes that this idea of constructing a home made of non-combustible materials will save not just him but the rest of the community from natural disasters such as the Camp Fire.

The hardware store manager and his wife are planning to move into their new two-bedroom house. It’s designed to withstand fire because it’s made of non-combustible materials. The house also resembles a modern barn.

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It’s all thanks to a company called Design Horizons, they this barn-like house idea, the “Q Cabin“, short for “Quonset hut.” They based the name on Quonset Point, it’s a naval facility in Rhode Island where the corrugated metal-roofed buildings were first constructed during World War II.

Design Horizon’s owner, Vern Sneed said, “It’s non-combustible. It’s a product that you can’t really light on fire.”

“Q Cabin” is made not to burn.

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“We would have a non-combustible siding out here,” he explained. “Then, we’ve got our non-combustible sheathing. Then, we’ve got our non-combustible structure. So, you would have to get through all of these non-combustible layers before you got to the inside.”

Scientists say most homes ignite in wildfires because embers get in-between roof shingles or window frames. Guess what? The Q Cabin has non of those entry points.

“I understand why you won’t call this ‘fireproof,’ because you could never guarantee that. But this is about as close as you’re gonna get?” Tracy asked.

“This is about as close as you can get,” answered Sneed.

Knowing the root cause.

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We can’t deny that part of the problem is the communities’ proximity to nature. Paradise like many other places that are close to nature is called the Wildland Urban Interface. It’s where the outdoors collides with a person’s front door.

Truth be told, almost 50 million homes are in those areas and are more prone to wildfires.

Sneed thinks that using non-combustible materials in constructing houses can be the future of home-building. It’s very timely, especially nowadays that climate change is finally showing its effects through these left and right natural disasters.

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Good thing is that the community has finally realized the importance of getting themselves prepared for natural disasters such as wildfires. They hope that by choosing the architecture and design of Q Cabin, they’ll be safer and that Paradise will be back to being their paradise.

Learn more about these fire-resistant homes in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Michael Dabu
hi@sbly.com
Michael Dabu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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