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Resort Worker’s Video May Have Captured Start of Maui’s Deadly Wildfire

Resort Worker’s Video May Have Captured Start of Maui’s Deadly Wildfire

The death toll now stands at 106, and more coroners are on their way to assist in the identification of the victims from recovered remains.

I recently reported that the lawyers investigating the cause of apocalyptic Maui wildfires think the blaze resulted from damaged equipment owned by Hawaiian Electric.

Now a video from a resort worker has surfaced that seems to corroborate that assertion.

Shane Treu, 49, filmed flames coming from a wooden power pole that snapped under high winds early Aug. 8 — just hours before the wildfire that has killed more than 100 people was confirmed as taking hold in now-devastated Lahaina.

“I heard ‘buzz, buzz’ … It was almost like somebody lit a firework,” the resort worker recalled of the live line sizzling and popping on dry grass outside his home.

“It just ran straight up the hill to a bigger pile of grass and then, with that high wind, that fire was blazing,” he said.

“In a matter of minutes, that whole place was just engulfed.”

Treu filmed three Facebook Live videos from about 6:40 a.m., starting with him trying to battle the blaze with a hose and then warning arriving emergency services about the live power line in the road.

A neighbor also captured additional film.

Treu’s neighbor, Robert Arconado, also recorded videos that he provided to the AP. Arconado’s footage, which starts at 6:48 a.m., shows a lone firefighter headed toward the flames as they continued to spread west downhill and downwind along Lahainaluna Road, toward the center of town.

By 9 a.m., Maui officials declared the fire “100% contained,” and the firefighters left. But about 2 p.m., Arconado said the same area had reignited.

A video he filmed at 3:06 p.m. shows smoke and embers being carried toward town as howling winds continued to lash the island. Arconado continued to film for hours, as towering pillars of flame and smoke billowed from the neighborhoods downhill, forcing people to jump into the ocean to escape.

“It was scary, so scary,” Arconado said. “There was nowhere to go. … I witnessed every single thing. I never go to sleep.”

The death toll now stands at 106, and more coroners are on their way to assist in identifying the victims from recovered remains.

Search and recovery crews using cadaver dogs had scoured approximately 30% of the burn area by Tuesday, officials said. The number of canine teams was increasing to more than 40 because of the difficulty and scope of the operation, FEMA said. The dogs need to rest frequently because of the terrain and heat.

Searchers combing through the ashes found some of Lahaina’s most vulnerable residents, including children, among the victims. Gov. Josh Green said this week that teams found a family of four killed in a charred car and the remains of seven family members inside a burned-down house.

Dr. Robert Mann heads the Forensic Science Academy at the Central Identification Laboratory in Oahu, Hawaii, and is set to head to Maui on Thursday to help in identification efforts. He indicates the identification process for some victims could take years.

John Pelletier, the Maui police chief, said on Tuesday that only around a third of the devastated area of Lahaina had been searched, and the governor of Hawaii, Josh Green, has said he expects an additional eight to ten bodies to be found every day for at least the next week.

Cadaver dogs flown in from California and Washington are assisting the search, and relatives of the 1,300 missing have been asked to provide DNA samples.

…’Every single case, every individual, every decedent is unique – they were unique in life, and they’re unique now,’ [Mann]said.

‘And we just have to figure out what is going to be the magic piece of that science that’s going to end in identification.’

Mann said personal items such as wedding rings or objects in a person’s pockets can provide clues.

But DNA is often the most useful, especially for burns victims – even though DNA found in bones that have been burned are contaminated.

Meanwhile, Biden may suffer remorse for the “No Comment” beach day. He is slated to visit Maui Monday.


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I am sure the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will fix this right away.

Of course, the same lousy Dems are in control of Hawaii, so the results will be the same.

    david7134 in reply to Dimsdale. | August 18, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Just think, 50 goats could have stopped this fire if consistently put out for several years to get rid of that dry grass.

This is a rerun of California, where instead of spending money on maintaining electric infrastructure, they spent it on “green” boondoggles, and then decaying infrastructure triggered massive, deadly fires.

This fire happened because of climate change panic.

As to the family killed in their car…
I carry in my car – at all times – a fire extinguisher, a fire blanket, and a wool blanket. Wool blankets are fire resistant, as well as useful if you’re stranded in the cold. A fire blanket might keep a person alive in the middle of a fire (get the large one, not the kitchen stove top size). A fire extinguisher might not help in that case, but it might help you get someone else out of their car and away from the fire. (That’s also why I carry the fire blanket – to help evacuate someone from a burning car.)

Good ideas but your keys are your best defense. I have driven thru active fire a few times. With the ocean and safety so near theae deaths are brutal. If you can, ALWAYS rescue yourself instead of waiting for the govt to show up.

    I have driven thru active fire a few times.
    But did you do it in a Kia Solo or a Ford Festiva? Or in a car that was over a decade old with a bad battery?
    I agree that keeping moving can be a lifesaver, but there are times that’s not feasible (especially if you can’t see over the fire and know that you’re not driving into a giant morass of flame). That’s when the fire blanket might come into play.
    And, yes, being prepared to try and save yourself is always important – hence why I carry several things in my car every single day.

    Note that a “fire blanket” is NOT one of those emergency blankets with foil on one side. It is a thick fiberglass blanket. They can be used to smother fires or to wrap around oneself and escape a fire. I don’t know that you would survive being in your car while it’s on fire, if you were swathed in it (you might well suffocate and not burn at all). But it’s a chance you wouldn’t otherwise have.

    GWB in reply to tlcomm2. | August 17, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    A question for you:
    Does grass burn hotter or cooler than trees? I would think cooler, as it would flash and hurry by you. Whereas trees would have a higher ignition point and burn longer, hotter.

    If you have to drive through one of these to escape, should you wait for it to get to fields and prairie? If you have to get in a ditch and pull something over you is it better alongside an “empty” field?

    DaveGinOly in reply to tlcomm2. | August 17, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    Police, fire, and EMT personnel are not “first responders.” First responders are those people at the scene when an incident occurs. They are responsible for their own safety and the safety of those in their charge. Everyone else arrives late.

Global warming my ass

Fat_Freddys_Cat | August 17, 2023 at 10:49 am

How long until the resort worker is slagged by the online mob? I mean, he’s obviously an evil MAGA Republican Nazi domestic terrorist!

That’s how it goes these days…look at how the Left has desperately tried to discredit Anthony Oliver for just writing a damn song.

I’m very touchy about this wildfire stuff. I rarely, if ever, see people talk the way they do to survivors of tornadoes or hurricanes or storm surge and coastal flooding they way they talk to wildfire refugees. But woe to you if you happen to live in the Western US, especially California, even if the county you live in votes republican/Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole, Bush, Trump and pretty much hate PG&E for reasons predating fires.

You know what would be helpful, if you’ve not had to drive your car through a fire storm whipped by 70-90mph winds, check the advice. That’s a fine start, because there’s nothing more annoying than noob advice givers handing out advice like free clinic Karens at the Folsom Street Faire.

A good friend did drive through the Paradise firestorm (he was in Concow). It’s not what you imagine it to be. Here’s what saved him. God saved him. A voice boomed out of the ether and saved him.

You see that sort of talk coming from some dummy like me and think Good grief, “shut it, god-bother!”

This is after rolling his car in a wall of flames on a serpentine mountain road – the car coming to a rest against a fence post on a sloping hillside. He had to kick the window out to escape the car. At that moment God spoke, rather God shouted.

So, please, drop talk of fire extinguishers, and wool blankets and Cliff bars in the glove box for energy. This isn’t Disney World.

Did I mention my friend (that God spoke to) hails from Texas? Never voted in Calif? Had no choice as to his electricity provider? He just showed up from Texas. And started living here in Northern California. The nerve.

How dare he! Best if he gets roasted in a wildfire, yes? Serves those Commiefornia people right. “Globohomo” heathens, that’s what they are.

Anyhow. I’m a intelligent design sort of fellow. A deist for the most part. It’s all contradictory and fuzzy. But take it from me, miracles do happen. God saved my pal.

    GWB in reply to Tiki. | August 17, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    So, please, drop talk of fire extinguishers, and wool blankets and Cliff bars in the glove box for energy. This isn’t Disney World.
    You seem to be to be a thin-skinned concern troll. We were discussing some preparation that might help people – both mental and physical.
    As to his moving to California, given the political and cultural landscape there, he was either ignorant or didn’t think any of it would have consequences for him. (He voted with his feet.) Unless he didn’t move of his own volition.

    Now, I am glad your friend survived. As I am saddened by all those who have died on Maui.
    But discussion of the reasons for this fire and of ways to help yourself if caught in something like this is not somehow invalid because you had a friend survive a fire. Some of the things we’re talking about might have made his escape less harrowing. And God much prefers not having to do extraordinary miracles to save His people – it’s why he gave us brains (and examples from other people’s lives).

      Tiki in reply to GWB. | August 17, 2023 at 3:48 pm

      I admit to being thin skinned – only after having thick hide ablated after years of this so-called life advice – both physical and mental. Make of it what you will.

      You were pontificating. Your so-called advice is garnish for the usual boorish internet horseshat: holier than thou political triumphalism. You say it direct – my Texas friend is either 1) ignorant, 2) outlaw (volition), 3) brainless godbother. In fact, every Californian you’ve never met is guilty as charged. It’s a summary judgment rendered by Superior Court Judge Highhorse III Esq. Rather, the judgement is comment thread en banc. So, it’s mob justice.

      Yeah, I know. They’re all idiots and fools or outlaws or something you disapprove. And you don’t suffer fools.

      I have a bunch of friends that survived the Paradise Camp fire. Friends whose homes burned to the ground. Employees of a company I contract with lost 50 homes to wildfire. I have first hand experience, whereas you obviously posit blah-blah you’ve no experience dealing with.

      USFS controls most of the forest lands west of the Rockies. BLM controls a fair bit as well, though most of it high plains desert sage. What about those living in other western states when burned out of their homes? Suburbs near Denver? Helena? Boise? Same summary judgement?

      Here’s solid advice if wildfire is upon you:
      Do not delay.
      Act boldly.

      “No plan extends with any certainty beyond the first encounter.”

    DaveGinOly in reply to Tiki. | August 17, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    That’s the most incoherent post I’ve read in a few days. (And that’s saying something, because I read a lot of insane, uninformed, and clueless posts.)

      It’s actually on point about fires and the uselessness of a fire extinguisher when a wall of flame comes out of nowhere. As far as the God and miracle stuff, you’re on your own.

    Tel in reply to Tiki. | August 18, 2023 at 12:20 am

    I’m upvoting you because I have friends who went through fires in SoCal a number of years ago and the fire comes suddenly and in sheets. Fire extinguishers? Not gonna cut it.