Utah family shown ‘Aloha Spirit’ staying in Maui shelter after vacation rental burns down
Aug 17, 2023, 10:37 PM | Updated: Aug 19, 2023, 2:19 pm
KAHULUI, Maui — A family from Delta, Utah said they were shown love and support from locals when they had no place to go following the fire in Lahaina.
The Crapo family was staying at a vacation rental in Lahaina last Tuesday when noticed a change in the weather.
“The wind was so strong that day, and they kids wanted to get out. They were getting stir crazy,” Rhett Crapo said.
The family traveled to a different part of the island to enjoy an indoor aquarium. When they tried getting back into Lahaina Tuesday evening they ran into major traffic.
“On the road there was a ton of traffic and we just thought, ‘what is this’,” Crapo said. “We didn’t understand the devastation at that point.”
The family waited in line for hours until they realized Lahaina was up in flames.
“When we were leaving the line, I could see the flames in the distance,” RJ Crapo said.
Without a place to stay, the family went to a shelter at a nearby church.
“We though these locals have been through so much, we didn’t want to take room in a shelter,” Crapo said. “But as soon as we showed up, they said, ‘this is for you come on in.’”
The family of seven was fed and given a place to sleep on the church pews. During the two-night stay, they family ended up getting to know some of locals at the shelter.
“We heard stories about people who didn’t get out, you know, that died while they were trying to get out,” Crapo said.
The family was eventually allowed back to their unit in Lahaina to see the devastation first hand.
“There was just complete devastation, everything was totally burned,” Crapo said. “Just like an atomic bomb went off.”
The family says they will never forget the images they saw and will always remember the hospitality they experienced while sheltering on Maui.
“Everyone was just so kind, even having lost so much of their own things, they were so kind to us,” Crapo said.