On August 8, 2023, a wildfire ravaged Lāhainā on the island of Maui destroying an estimated 85% of the beachfront town, altering Hawaii's history forever. My father's side of the family has lived in Lāhainā for over a century, with the small town serving as a second home to my sister and I growing up, so of course we were beyond heartbroken. Long before this tragedy, in the fall of 2022, a writer from Honolulu Magazine (www.honolulumagazine.com) reached out asking if I'd like to submit a story for an article they were doing for Halloween. That story turned into this episode with additional information not covered in the magazine piece. (https://www.honolulumagazine.com/locals-share-firsthand-spine-chilling-ghost-stories-just-in-time-for-halloween/)
This incident was something an ex-girlfriend and I experienced while visiting my grandparent's home on famed Front Street and was intended to be a Patreon exclusive episode. However, after news of the fire, I went back and updated the ending to include how the fire has impacted my family personally and to add a short disclaimer. After zero contact for over 24hrs, we finally learned my grandma and other family members were confirmed to be safe after being forced to evacuate twice. Tragically this was not the case for many other residents. Whatever you may hear on the news I can assure you it is much, much worse. It is still too early to know the total destruction or even an accurate number of missing or deceased and will take years to fully understand the outcome of these fires with the clean-up and rebuilding of historic Lāhainā taking even longer. I decided to release the episode to all listeners to include resources on how to help the Island's residents.
Maui needs more assistance than ever, please check the show notes for additional ways to help. Mahalo.
Resources for those directly impacted by the fires:
If you are searching for missing loved ones, call the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767, select option 4 and follow the voice prompts for Hawaii Wildfires.
I've been overwhelmed with the immense amount of listeners who've reached out asking how to help or if my family has a GoFundMe to support. At the moment, my family is OK financially and do not want to take away from others who may require that same support, but want to thank everyone for their kindness and well wishes.