Six months after a firestorm destroyed the town of Lahaina, Hawaii, a detailed new report on the tragedy reveals that a large number of victims died along a single street — a stark indication of the ferocity of the blaze that swept through the historic island town, killing 100 people.
The 98-page report from the Maui Police Department on the Aug. 8 disaster came after months of pressure to provide more information about the fire and the government’s response to it, which has been criticized for failing to adequately warn residents in time for them to evacuate.
It provides a detailed timeline of a fire that started near a downed electrical line in the morning hours, then flared up in the afternoon and burned through the city for hours. As residents fled for their lives, many were unable to leave because key exit routes were blocked by downed power lines, trees and the raging fire itself.
The fire claimed victims across a distance of more than two miles, and possibly over many hours, the report showed, including in neighborhoods that were already ablaze before evacuation alerts were issued.
Here are nine key revelations from the report.
Many deaths on one street
Some of the fire’s victims were found in the north part of the town, and another cluster was discovered to the south, according to maps produced by Maui county.
But the majority were in the city center. About one-third of them were found along Kuhua Street, a short road lined with residences on one side, about a half-mile from the shore. That street has a dead end to the west, and survivors have described how they struggled to escape to the east because a downed tree was blocking the roadway.
Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.
Thank you for your patience while we verify access.
Already a subscriber? Log in.
Want all of The Times? Subscribe.