posted by admin on August 17, 2023 in
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2023
Hale Mahaolu has been working tirelessly to locate our tenants by calling the contact phone number(s) we have for them. Below are our initial estimates of the status of Hale Mahaolu Eono tenants. Please note these are preliminary figures that we have gathered in a very difficult communications environment. They will change as we continue to gather information.
22 Tenants have been located (includes the resident manager)
4 Tenants have not responded to our phone messages
4 Tenants’ family members have confirmed to us they are missing
3 Tenants reported deceased by media
2 Units were vacant at time of fire
“We are deeply saddened by reports of the passing of Hale Mahaolu tenants in the recent wildfires in Maui,” said Grant Chun, Hale Mahaolu executive director. “Our thoughts and condolences are with their family and loved ones. The safety of our tenants has always been our foremost priority. We are here to provide any necessary assistance and support during this difficult time.”
Please note: the account and timeline below are based on the recollections of staff who were working under extreme conditions to help tenants. All times are approximate. As we continue to gather info, we will update them with the most accurate information we have.
Unfortunately, summer wildfires are common around Lahaina. At first, August 8th, seemed like it would be little different from other days with nearby wildfires. Early on, staff went door to door, alerting tenants that they may need to evacuate themselves and that they should get ready.
Our tenants are independent adults, who navigate their own lives. Our staff is available to help them when they request help, but we respect their autonomy and privacy. Many of our residents have their own vehicles and they often carpool with their fellow tenants.
For generations, Hale Mahaolu has provided stable housing to low-income seniors on Maui. We help them with assistance and funding for housing that allow most to spend no more than thirty percent of their income on their housing. Many have family and friends in the community. They come and go as they please, with no obligation to inform us of their whereabouts.
On the morning of August 8th, Hale Mahaolu Eono had five different staffers on site at various times in the morning. Most have responsibilities at more than one of our properties. The resident manager’s role was to be on call at the property during evenings and weekends. He spent the early morning working at one of our other properties. We aim to have at least one staffer in the office, available to tenants. On the 8th, at least one staffer was on site until approximately 11:30 am.
Most residents heeded our warnings to leave the property. When our resident manager decided to evacuate with his wife, he encouraged four residents to leave with him. All four decided not to leave with him.
We don’t fully know the reasons those four residents remained. They may have decided to stay because they heard warnings in previous years that didn’t result in this level of devastation.
They may also have heard the news that Maui officials declared the fire “100% contained.”
• A non-resident staffer working at the property sees smoke and decides to alert tenants to the situation and the possibility they may want to evacuate themselves.
7:30 am – 8:00 am
• Several staffers knock on the door of each unit in the complex, alerting tenants to the situation, encouraging them to be ready to evacuate themselves.
• In one instance, they receive no response to their knocks, so they enter the unit and wake the tenant inside to deliver the news.
• The brush fire in Lahaina is declared “100% contained” by Maui County officials.
Between 9 and 10 am
• The resident manager, who was working at a different Hale Mahaolu property, returns to Eono.
• Note: The role of the resident manager is to be available during off hours. Normally, other staff are on duty during regular business hours.
• Strong winds bring down trees and electrical poles in the Lahaina area.
11:30 am – noon
• The area is very hot and smoky.
• No evacuation notice for Eono’s neighborhood has been issued by the County of Maui.
• The resident manager sees four tenants talking outside, he invites them into his unit.
• The resident manager decides to evacuate with his wife.
• He encourages the four residents to leave with him. All four decide not to leave with him.
• The resident manager and his wife evacuate from the property.
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Eliot Dobris, iQ360