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Rebuilding For The Graver Ohana: Lahaina Fire

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Aloha, we are the Graver family. We have lived in West Maui - Lahaina - for many years. My husband, Steve, is with the Maui Fire Department (stationed in Napili) and has been in the department for over 10 years now. He worked his normal shift the day that the fire broke out Tuesday 8/8 while I was home with our 2 year old son Grayson and dog Kaia. Our home is in what is known as the "Shark Pit" area at the south end of Lahaina town. As that fateful day and the fires progressed, like everyone else in the area, we had no cell phone reception or power since 5am due to high winds. No one had any updates on what the status of the fire truly was.

The day was a blur of anxiety while my son and I watched the destruction to our property get worse each hour because of the intensity of the winds. After buckling down all day and waiting it out with our cul-de-sac neighbors, we finally felt that it was urgent that we leave our home once we were overcome with fear from the sight of black smoke filling the neighborhood next to us. Thankfully, we were then visited by another fire crew who came down our street to check that we were ready to leave immediately. This was the final push we needed to get in the car and evacuate before it was too late. After grabbing our dog, child, and a small box of our essential documents, I pulled out of our driveway just after 6:15pm for the last time.

Like so many others, our first home purchase was a dream come true after years of saving money. We poured countless hours of love/dedication into it, making this place a haven for our growing family. We love our Shark Pit neighborhood and long to rebuild and be back together with our neighbors again one day. We have no idea how long and grueling the process will be, but we are committed to see it through.

During the process of our family bouncing around from multiple temporary housing options in the past 3 weeks, my husband has still been working his regularly scheduled shifts, all while trying to emotionally absorb what we all have separately + collectively endured since the start of August 8th. His experience has been particularly painful and he - and his firemen ohana - lost not only their homes while they were fighting the flames, but some have lost lives of family and friends to the Lahaina Fire that day.

The extent of damage to our town is unimaginable; the loss of human life makes it even more tragic. The pictures from the days following that Tuesday night are hard to absorb. Not only did we lose our home, with every material treasure it contained, but I lost my job as a property manager, too, as almost all of the vacation rentals our company managed (as well as our office and operations warehouse) were consumed by the fire. Coping, grieving, and hoping - one day at a time - is pretty much all we can do right now.

With our second child on the way (baby girl Graver due in January), we are humbly and gratefully asking for any financial support or prayers that you can offer during this difficult time. We look forward to rebuilding our home one day and, until then, hope to locate a long term rental that can fit our growing family as we heal from this.

Mahalo from Maui.



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April Graver
Lahaina, HI

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