After more than 50 people lost their homes to fires that raged through West Maui last week, the Maui ohana is coming together to help them rebuild.
As Hurricane Lane barreled toward Hawaii late last week, the island braced for rain and floods. Fortunately, the hurricane lost strength and far less rain was realized for most areas of Maui. Unexpectedly though, the wind fanned three fires which scorched roughly 2,330 acres from Launiupoko to Ka’anapali. According to fire officials, at least 21 structures and 30 vehicles were damaged. Six of those structures are located near Lahainaluna and the other 15 are are near Launiupoko.
In the short amount of time since the fires, the community has come together to help the families in need, who must now rebuild their lives out of the ashes.
“The community response has been amazing,” said Island Sotheby’s International Realty agent Courtney Brown R(S), who specializes in West Maui. “The last thing anyone expected as Hurricane Lane approached was a fire.”
Many of the families had to evacuate so suddenly that they didn’t even have the time to grab a go-bag — now, their only belongings are the clothes on their backs.
In the days since the tragedy, people have rallied together to help the families in need. Nonprofits and faith groups have come together to help families find shelter, while restaurants like Tai Chef and A’a Roots have opened their doors to serve evacuees and first responders.
In addition, thousands of dollars had been raised already to help the people who lost their homes and belongings. By late Sunday, one fundraiser called Lahaina Strong on Facebook raised almost $100,000 out of its $150,000 goal for the families in need.
“It’s still early to determine the extent of the need,” said Brown. “However, the initial response shows the true Aloha spirit of those who love our island — #LahainaStrong.”
Want to help? We’ve compiled a list of ways to find out more about the fires and where to donate:
For more information: