Lahaina Residents And Natives Speak On Maui Fires

Tiani Jadulang

Although it’s over 2500 miles away, many residents and former Coachella Valley locals have strong ties to Lahaina. 

We spoke to two different families, all who know the seaside town very well, who have been directly impacted. 

“I found out about my home on an Instagram video, someone had gone by and I saw my two vehicles on LahainaLuna, then it panned, and I was like “My house is on fire, my house is on fire.” Amanda Cassidy says, a Lahaina resident, who was born and raised in the Coachella Valley.

Cassidy moved to Lahaina, four years ago.

Meanwhile here in the Coachella Valley, Frances Rickard and her daughter Robyn, who were both born and raised in Lahaina, were doing their best to contact their family who all call the seaside town, home.

“You name it, everybody’s there. Everybody lives in the town of Lahaina. All we could see was the flames and the ash and you know, it was horrific, it was a horrific view.” Robyn DeLeonardis says.

The fire, devastating for the entire island, Cassidy losing her home, and everything she had, and Robyn and Frances losing the unthinkable, family members.

“We have family that’s still missing. A cousin that you know, someone tried to get her away and she holds down her own house saying I’m going to save it, and then she was found like two blocks away at the stop sign just underground, you know she was dead.” DeLeonardis says.

As for Cassidy, she remains on the island to try and help anyone in need.

“We got very lucky and like being the first ones to hit it and go but I just think of how many disabled, how many elderly, all the children like they had no idea, zero warning, and that is infuriating, and it’s so sad.” Cassidy says.

Frances Rickard and her husband lived in Lahaina for more than 70 years.

He recently passed away, and she plans to head back to the island next month, to lay him to rest.

“We both live a happy life, you know, and then something like this happens. It breaks my heart more, because I love my husband so much and he left so peacefully, but he saw what Lahaina disappeared to.”

Robyn and Frances have set up a GoFundMe page, to help restore their families hometown.

To find that link and more information about how else to help the families of Lahaina, click the links below.

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