6 residents, including 4 from one family, are among at least 101 people killed in the Maui wildfire


The apocalyptic wildfires that raced across Maui have claimed at least 101 lives – a devastating number that’s expected to grow.

Among those killed: Four members of the same family who tried to escape the flames, the family said in a statement to CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now.

“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 statement said.

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

The death toll in Maui is expected to increase as “many hundreds of homes” have been destroyed and search crews keep sifting through the charred remains of neighborhoods.

As more victims emerge, so do poignant tales about their lives. These are some of their stories:

Franklin “Frankie” Trejos, 68, lived in the historic town of Lahaina for three decades before the inferno consumed his neighborhood, his niece Kika Perez Grant said.

Trejos’ longtime friend and roommate told the family he and Trejos tried to save their property before the flames overwhelmed them, Perez Grant said.

Franklin 'Frankie' Trejos adored his roommate's dog, Sam, his niece said.

The roommate suffered burns but managed to escape the chaotic scene. But Trejos was nowhere to be found.

Hours later, the roommate called Trejos’ family again “to tell us he had found Uncle Frankie’s remains,” Perez Grant said.

Trejos’ remains were found blocks away from his home on top of his roommate’s dog, whom he loved, his niece said.

“Uncle Frankie was a kind man, a nature lover, an animal lover and he loved his friends and his families with this whole heart,” his niece said.

“He loved adventure and was a free spirit.”

Carole Hartley was known for

Carole Hartley, who lived in downtown Lahaina, also died while trying to flee, her sister told CNN.

As Hartley and her partner tried to escape the flames, they were separated by thick, black smoke that engulfed them, Donna Gardner Hartley said.

The powerful winds whipped by Hurricane Dora moved quickly and “kept changing,” Gardner Hartley wrote in a Facebook post.

“(Hartley’s partner) said they were inside a dark smoke (that) felt like a tornado and they could not see nothing they kept calling each others name,” she wrote.

“He was screaming … ‘Run run run Carole run.’ He eventually could not hear her anymore.”

Hartley’s partner was eventually found by his friends and treated for burn injuries, Gardner Hartley wrote.

He then organized a search group to look for Hartley, and they split up to visit shelters and share photos in hopes someone might have heard from her.

The group discovered her remains on the couple’s property over the weekend, Gardner Hartley told CNN.

Her partner believes Hartley turned back to help someone before she died, Gardner Hartley said in a statement.

“Our family has always been very close and (there has been) a strong love between us,” the statement said.

“This week has been the worse days of our life. It takes your breath away when you receive the call that your little sister’s remains were found on her property and that they are still waiting for DNA verification.”

Gardner Hartley remembered her sister as a special, loving person from a young age. The two would talk often, she said, and were always “a phone call away.”

Hartley had lived on the island for 36 years, her sister said.

“My little sister has always looked for the good in people and always helped others,” Gardner Hartley added. “She will be missed by all that knew her for her fun personality, her smile and adventures.”

source: cnn.com