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Fire helicopter rescues woman, her pet rabbit and chicken isolated by lava

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Fire crews rescued a woman and her animals on Sunday. They dropped her off in Pahoa.

The Hawaii County Fire Department on Sunday airlifted a woman, her pets and a wheelchair after she earlier had declined being evacuated from an area isolated by lava in Lower Puna.

Fire personnel first evacuated by helicopter the woman, her pet rabbit and chicken at about 3:45 p.m. They made a second trip and delivered her wheelchair and other possessions at about 4:45 p.m. to the Pahoa Fire Station.

The woman was one of three people who evacuated Sunday after lava cut off access to the area, blocking Highways 132 and 137.

“We’d see her, contact her, then finally by late yesterday she decided that she wanted to come,” said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno, during a news conference today. “So the fire helicopter brought her out.”

The helicopter transported her from somewhere inside the area isolated by lava, which includes Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, said David Mace, FEMA spokesperson currently assisting the county.

After the woman declined transport, she later contacted a third party and told authorities she now wanted to be evacuated, Mace said.

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