Wildfires this week devastated parts of Maui in Hawaii, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation, decimating a historic town. While many wait in agony for news of whether their friends and family are safe, the fires have already claimed the lives of more than 90 people – making it the deadliest wildfire in the US in more than 100 years. Here are the stories of the deceased.
THE LOSS OF A FAMILY
A family of four – Faaso and Malui Fonua Tone, Salote Takafua and her son Tony Takafua – died trying to flee the flames. Their remains were found on Thursday in a burnt-out car near their home.
“The magnitude of our grief is indescribable,” a statement from family members read.
Lylas Kanemoto, who knew the Tone family, confirmed the devastating news on Sunday.
“At least we have closure for them, but the loss and heartbreak is unbearable for many. We as a community just need to embrace each other and support our families, friends and our community the best we can,” Kanemoto told the AP by text message on Sunday.
Kanemoto is still waiting for news of her cousin, Glen Yoshino, going missing.
“I’m afraid he’s gone because we haven’t heard from him and he would have found a way to contact family,” Kanemoto said. “We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
‘A REALLY GOOD MAN’
Retired Fire Captain Geoff Bogar and his friend of 35 years, Franklin Trejos, initially stayed behind to help others in Lahaina and save Bogar’s home. But as the flames grew closer on Tuesday afternoon, they knew they had to flee.
They each fled to their own car. When Bogar’s vehicle would not start, he broke through a window to get out and crawled on the ground until a police patrol found him and took him to a hospital.
Trejos did not escape.
When Bogar returned the next day, he found the bones of his 68-year-old friend in the backseat of his car, lying on top of the remains of Bogar’s beloved 3-year-old golden retriever Sam, whom he had been trying to protect.
A native of Costa Rica, Trejos lived for many years with Bogar and his wife, Shannon Weber-Bogar, who helped her with her seizures when her husband couldn’t. He filled their lives with love and laughter.
“God took a very good man,” said Weber-Bogar.