EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNW) – A family from Emporia is finally getting closure months after their home burned in the Lahaina, Maui wildfire. They finally got a chance to see what’s left.
The Rodriguez family said they found some homes still standing but not theirs. They had been waiting for the call that they’d be allowed access to see what was left. That day finally came this week and brought back emotions tucked away during the grieving process.
As Edgar Rodriguez pulled up to his driveway, two cars were the only things that marked where their home once stood.
“That was a moment of deep emotion, but yet a little bit of closure, of like, ‘OK, you’re seeing it in person. It’s real,'” said Edgar.
Reality finally setting in.
“I feel a lot better now, witnessing that and seeing it for myself, and ‘OK, it’s gone. You knew it was gone, but you don’t really know to what extent,'” said Edgar.
Edgar’s dad Benny had been hopeful he could recover family items.
“Absolutely nothing, man. I mean, it was just flat. Four inches of ash and some molten metal. That’s all there is left,” said Benny.
On his drive to the house, he saw the boat he used to work on sitting in the same spot it was on the night he evacuated the harbor.
“Just a little overwhelming to see. Obviously, you do remember where everything was and kind of seeing your stuff, what’s left, just torched down and melted down, and seeing your cars, it was just tough,” said Benny.
Driving through Lahaina, he stopped at the 150-year-old banyan tree, a symbol of hope as it has started to recover.
“That tree is magical, man, it’s magical, and to see it like this hurts, but seeing the life come back on it, is amazing, it’s coming back, and it will come back, and that’s a great sign,” said Benny.
The Rodriguez family has found a rental home in Maui and has moved in together. Currently, almost 7,000 people are still displaced, living at hotels in the area.
If you want to help assist the Rodriguez family in their recovery, you can find their GoFundMe here.