HONOLULU (KHON2) — Nearly seven weeks after a wildfire tore through Lahaina town some residents get a chance to see for the first time their home, or what’s left of it.
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Residents in Zone 1-C off Kaniau Road were the first to re-enter the burn zone.
KHON2 went in with one family to share their experience and see if it helped bring closure.
Noreen Wales built the home on Kaniau Road 50 years ago. The Wales family said they saw photos and heard from others their house didn’t make it, but said nothing could prepare them for seeing it up close.
“It’s like a movie, it’s just unbelievable,” said Dan Katayama a Lahaina resident who lost their home.
“This is my childhood home the feeling is accepting it and finally accepting it, I’m going through grief of course. We’re still looking for two cats we don’t know where they are,” added Tiara Wales.
“It’s good to have closure and now I know it’s gone, besides I still had hope before I had hope,” continued Katayama.
He said he was hopeful they’d find more things – his baseball cards, autograph collectors items and his wife’s wedding ring should’ve been somewhere in the debris.
“It’s endless ash, ash everywhere and you cant find literally anything we found plates that survived and one earring in two hours,” said Katayama.
“The first thing I found was my moms jade bracelet, pendant and a few rare coins that was hidden,” said Tiara Wales.
She hopes they can clear everything soon so the family can remain together and rebuild.
If this breaks up the family it will be really hard, that’s going to be hard I won’t be able to take that because I lived with my family my whole life and I don’t know if my daughter and mom will end up leaving the islands, I don’t want to leave”
Their children keep asking when they can go home, they tell them their new home is in Waikapu for now.
About a dozen homes were destroyed in the fires in Zone 1-C and several neighbors and residents do have green signs on their homes that allow them to live there but there is no water or dust screens.
To assist the Katayama and Wales ohana click here.