Utahns living on Maui recount escaping wildfire, pleading for help for locals
Aug 10, 2023, 11:14 PM | Updated: Aug 13, 2023, 9:48 am
LAHAINA, Maui – Three Utahns living on Maui are recounting the moments they fled the devastating fire. They escaped with their lives, but now their focus turns to the many locals who have lost everything.
“They need the support, they need the prayers, they need the help, the love. They just need all of the positivity that you can give them,” said Farmington native, Alexa Pozzuoli.
Pozzuoli lives and works in Lahaina. The home she rents burned down along with her place of employment along Front Street. She says her loss is nothing compared to what locals have lost.
“I’m not concerned about myself. I am just hoping and praying that everyone that has family missing and has lost everything, get all that they can and have everyone’s prayers go towards them,” Pozzuoli said.
On Tuesday, Pozzuoli along with Abby Ketchum from South Jordan and Morgyn Hill from Ogden fled the fire in Lahaina. They said the sky filled with thick black smoke as they drove away from the historic town.
“It was just terrifying, and it was bumper to bumper. There was just nothing we could do, we weren’t moving and people were panicking, running out of their car going to the beach, driving their car on the sidewalk,” the group said.
They thankfully found shelter at a friends apartment in Kihei. They are now spending time at shelters helping those in need, handing our donations and food.
“We would get them water, we would get them food. We would give them prepackaged meals for every single member of the family,” Pozzuoli said.
They want Utahns to understand the severity of the situation and hope by sharing their experience, others will consider donating to the people of Maui.
“Help them rebuild their lives, and make sure that they get to keep their land and keep one belongs to them,” Pozzuoli said. “They’ve lost their businesses, they have lost their homes. They have lost family members. They have nothing left.”