An entire subdivision that somehow managed to emerge almost untouched in Lahaina is a light for many through these difficult times.
A community one neighborhood above Lahaina town considers themselves beyond lucky.
Flames were dancing all around them and there was only one exit for their entire subdivision.
In the subdivision of Kilauea Mauka, located right below Lahainaluna High School, there’s an overwhelming sense of good fortune, mixed with guilt.
Everything beside them is black. Everything below them is gone.
“A couple shingles off the roof. How do you even explain? God, God when bless us. He saved us I believe that,” said Lahaina resident, James Tanaka.
The fire burned right alongside the subdivision.
With the exception of some burnt rooftops, these people are no doubt some of the lucky ones.
They’re doing everything they can to pay it forward.
“It just started with a group of people coming by asking if we wanted water we said ‘Sure will take some cereal’ and he said ‘Yeah sure I didn’t ask if I wanted to be a distribution hub,'” said another Lahaina resident Leo Ramelb.
From there Ramelb said the supply took off, and he’s not the only one.
Drive through the streets of this small community and you’ll see signs of giving and gratitude everywhere.
Davin Balagso lost his roof. But not his spirit to give.
“I walk in here I feel like I’m in Longs. Well, we can all keep it organized. We keep it organized — make it comfortable things on the ground anymore. Everybody’s getting what they need but they need more,” said Balagso.
While he remains focused on giving, Balagso is among those searching for more.
“Most of my family made it out,” Balagso added. “We’re still looking for some but just to know exactly what’s going on with him where the rat gets some peace which would be awesome.”
Like so many others he said the full gravity of the situation has yet to sink in.
“Not fully, but yeah, it’s there and I can feel it coming even more every day but yeah it’s hard really hard,” Balagso said as he fought back tears.
But through the tears, he said he sees hope in the future for the place he was born and raised and loves.
When asked what message he would want to share with those near and/or far, he replied with:
“Please keep praying for a lot of the community is coming together really strong and we are helping each other out. But we will build Lahaina again and make it better than it was.”
“We are Lahaina. Lahaina is still here. Houses and possessions are gone. Families are gone never forgotten, and — and that’s what we have to do stick together as strong as we can,” said Tanaka. “We will be standing soon. We will persevere. We’re overcome this we’ll overcome this.”
Feel strongly also spoke on how they feel about the future of their community and they do want to see something that is less touristy and more traditional Hawaiian.
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They also want to make sure that there’s some kind of shrine or memorial for the people who lost their lives in Lahaina.