HONOLULU (KHON2) — While most West Maui residents tried to flee the flames, some stayed behind to fight.
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Many of the people from the community Leialii believe their homes wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the actions of a few brave Lahaina men.
Shaun Buge Saribay lived at the bottom of Lahainaluna road – he’s used to brush fires and when his daughters begged him to come with them to safety he said he’d be fine.
“They was crying I said nah I got this I’ll be good and then yeah it just got so bad in a split second I had to leave so I bailed out and found myself trapped several places in front street,” said Saribay.
He started driving around and picked up some homeless residents and told them if they wanted a ride they’d have to help him fight the fire.
“At 5:26 was my last contact with my family and from there on we went to work,” Saribay added.
He went to Lahaina Methodist church where he had painted in the past and knew where the utility closet and garden hoses were.
“‘Fire closing in on us we’re stuck we trapped,’ I was reading my daughters text and that’s what made me go to work,” said Saribay.
He started filming himself in case he didn’t make it out alive.
“I said I’m going to die and I’ll put my phone here and when they find my phone, the can give it to my family and they’ll see daddy was really trying to come home, he was fighting,” Saribay added.
By morning it was still pitch black.
He took off on a bike to find his family and made it to Leialii where he saw MFD had put out a structure but it was still so windy.
“The thing would flare up and yeah if we wasn’t there we wouldn’t be sitting here,” Saribay said.
He grabbed the hoses once again, broke through a fence and helped save the homes.
He said the fire department did everything they could and even his house didn’t survive the fire.
Links to donate to the victims of the Lahaina fire can be found here.