LAHAINA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Fire flare ups continue to plague Lahaina. Now, a shell of what it once was.

The situation is still dangerous with firefighters working all day and night to put out hot spots.

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With all roads leading into Lahaina closed for safety reasons, the only way to reach that part of Maui is by boat.

Brigette: “Never have I seen this before. An entire town just gone. We took a boat from Maalaea to Lahaina, and the captain told me the ocean conditions were unusual because Lahaina is the leeward side of the valley isle; and normally, the mountains block the winds. Not so today. Rough, windy with two- to four-foot seas. And then once you reach Lahaina? An unbelievable sight.”

What once was a colorful stretch of gorgeous 19th century architecture is no more.

A smoky landscape. The ruins of beautiful, historic Lahaina.

The Coast Guard scanning the seas from Kaanapali to Lahaina in search of survivors and sending out a message to all able boaters.

It’s one thing to watch the videos. It’s another to see it with your own two eyes. I feel like I’m looking at a war zone.

Beautiful historic Lahaina reduced to a crisp. We’re about a quarter mile away from the shore; there’s nowhere to dock because Lahaina boat harbor is gone.

And even from here, the air quality is so bad. It smells like you’re in the thick of it.

Palm trees burnt and no longer swaying with the wind, buildings still on fire.

We’ve been here for 30 minutes, and we’ve already seen multiple fires start up. It looks like firefighters are fighting a newly ignited fire up on the hill.

Helicopters are fighting the strong winds to drop much needed water down below.

See those four trees? That’s where the docks were. The Harbor Master Office is still standing. Directly behind that was the historic Pioneer Inn, and that’s completely gone.

This photo of Pioneer Inn was taken just last week. The building, built in 1901, is reduced to rubble.

Other Lahaina hotels have evacuated guests, leaving thousands at Kahului airport without their belongings and without a taste of charming Lahaina.

Amy fleming, visitor
“We landed here yesterday, and all we have is the clothes on our backs,” said Amy Fleming a visitor to Maui. “We don’t know what happens next.”

“Here’s the part that gets me. We had no clue when we left yesterday,” said Jaime Copley a Maui visitor. “We were driving through historical, beautiful tourist area. And that would be the last time or had the opportunity to experience that.”

Whether you’re religious or not, one sight sticks out, a church is still standing.

It may be a sign of hope for the future of this historic town, but we’re a long ways away from that.

Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke said satellite phones are the only reliable way to get in touch with the Lahaina area, including hotels.

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But some Maui residents we spoke to said they still haven’t heard from loved ones; and they’re holding out hope they’ll be found safe and sound. Reporting live from Maui, I’m brigette Namata.