Grateful for first responders’ help with W. Maui brush fire

Words cannot express how grateful I am to our firefighters, police, medics, businesses, volunteers and everyone who helped here in Lahaina.

It looks bad, and it is horrible for everyone affected. But it could have been so much worse. We came so close to the whole town burning down. 

This fire didn’t stop on its own: Our firefighters and residents, with the help of ke akua, held the line, for the most part, against a huge fire at night, in the middle of hurricane winds with no rain. Looking at the aerial photos you can see how close the fire came to our schools and the homes of many friends and family. 

Our police were evacuating residents and directing traffic in all elements (smoke, humidity, wind, rain, etc.) through our busiest intersections for days.  

The Hyatt and Sheraton helped care for not only their guests but also our hundreds of resident evacuees until they could return home.

Ice donations were made to help ohana with no power; MECO worked relentlessly to restore power. Businesses and families preparing and donating food to all who are hungry.

Waiola Church opened its doors to our residents who had nowhere to go after the shelter at the Civic Center got shut down prematurely and folks were left stranded in the rain (even though Waiola didn’t have power). 

Waiola and Na Aikane opened their entire spaces to house the outpouring of donations. 

I’m grateful #Lahainastrong, and there are so many folks stepping forward to kokua.

Tamara Paltin