Tragic family died inside car trying to flee Hawaii firestorms

Hawaiian locals battling the deadliest wildfires in US history have paid tribute to a family of four who were burned alive in their car as they tried to flee the chaos.

The bodies of Faaso and Malui Fonua Tone, their adult daughter Salote Takafua, and her son, Tony Takafua, were discovered outside the small seaside town of Lahaina last Thursday (August 10).

They died after their car was engulfed by flames as they desperately tried to flee the wildfires that have ravaged Maui County. At least 92 others have also died.

Their bereaved family issued a statement over the weekend saying their grief was “indescribable”.

Several fires across the county, including the one that demolished the historic town of Lahaina, are yet to be completely contained, according to an update from the Maui County officials.

READ MORE Maui snorkelling company apologises after backlash for running tourist trip[REVEAL]

Only three per cent of Lahaina has been searched due to the ongoing wildfires, according to Maui Police Chief John Pelletier, but the family of four were identified after a sweep of the town.

In a statement, the devastated remaining family members said: “On behalf of our family, we bid aloha to our beloved parents, Faaso and Malui Fonua Tone, as well as our dear sister Salote Takafua and her son, Tony Takafua.

“The magnitude of our grief is indescribable, and their memories will forever remain etched in our hearts.”

The deceased had been longtime residents of Lahaina who lived just beneath the Lahainaluna School.

Don’t miss…
Residents in Hawaii head home to scenes of devastation after deadly fires[REPORT]
BBC Breakfast guest breaks down describing horrifying wildfires experience[VIDEO]
Britney Spears reacts as sons with ex-husband are safe in Hawaii after wildfires[REVEAL]

The blaze that swept into centuries-old Lahaina on Tuesday (August 8) destroyed nearly every building in the town of 13,000, leaving a grid of gray rubble wedged between the ocean and green slopes.

That fire has been 85 per cent contained, according to the county, while the Upcountry fire has been 60 per cent contained.

“There’s very little left there,” Gov. Josh Green said, holding up a map of the area titled “Buildings Damaged in Maui Wildfires Lahaina Area”.

When teams “do come across scenes in houses or businesses, it is very difficult for them because they know, ultimately, they will be sharing with our people that there have been more fatalities. I do expect the numbers to rise,” Mr Green said.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The cause of the wildfires is under investigation, and Mr Green said authorities would also examine their response. One fire, for instance, was thought to be out but later flared again.

In the hours before a wildfire engulfed the town of Lahaina, Maui County officials failed to activate sirens that would have warned the entire population and instead relied on social media posts. Power and cellular outages further stymied communication efforts.

Fueled by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane, the flames on Maui raced through parched brush — one moving as fast as one mile every minute, according to Green.

“With those kinds of winds and 1,000-degree temperatures, ultimately all the pictures that you will see will be easy to understand,” he said.

Source: Read Full Article