Just one home on a block of housing in West Maui has inexplicably survived and left nearly untouched – as nearly every property around the area is burned to the ground following last week’s devastating fires.
New photos show the two-story house with white walls and red roof, miraculously unharmed amidst the apocalyptic devastation surrounding it.
The oceanfront home’s garden also appears to have kept a semblance of greenery in contrast to the ashes and charred trees.
Social media users have named the house ‘The Red House That Survived Hawaii Wild Fires’ giving it a quasi-mythological status. The scene echoes that of the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in downtown Lahaina, which is still standing amidst the rubble.
Many homes were left destroyed by the wildfires that have been responsible for at least 110 deaths.
A two-story house with white walls and red roof, appears miraculously unharmed amidst the apocalyptic devastation surrounding it
The Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in downtown Lahaina is seen still standing amidst the rubble
The Lanakila Catholic Church church, which has stood since 1846, is seen in a video posted to TikTok standing proud with its stain glass and tower structure in place even as the ground around it smolders.
Members of the church’s community took to Facebook to express their gratitude the building had been saved.
Jeffrey Chang wrote: ‘May She be the beacon of hope…to help the rest of the community.’
Another user, Jeffrey Domdoma wrote: ‘May she be the beacon of hope to the people of Lahaina!!!! Praise the Lord… upon this rock I will build my church!!! come and follow me….’
Terrence Watanabe, pastor of the nearby parish of St. Anthony’s told The Pillar ‘all of Lahaina Town has been consumed by fire. It’s all gone. The church, Maria Lanakila [Our Lady of Victory], is still standing, as is the rectory. The school’s been a little bit affected.’
Speaking of the church’s local relief efforts Watanabe said ‘our bishop just got back from the meeting on the mainland… the diocese – they’re meeting today to decide what they can help with.
‘Catholic Charities here in Hawaii is also mobilizing at this point. And I think they’ve already contacted the national office for some help and support.
‘Here at St. Anthony [Parish], we’ve started a fund for people to donate to’ he added.
Lahaina’s 150-year-old banyan tree also appears to have survived the fires.
Lahaina’s banyan, near the town’s historic courthouse building, is known as the oldest living banyan tree in the US. Both the tree and the courthouse have been severely damaged.
The historic tree remains standing amid the carnage but appears badly burnt
As of Friday the historic tree, with 47 trunks, was still standing albeit severely scorched from the flames.
It is not yet known whether the tree, which was imported from India in 1873, will survive.
The death toll from the blaze currently stands at 110, with more than 1,000 residents still missing.
Officials in Maui have so far identified only five of the victims.
Currently only two people have been named by authorities as victims – Robert Dyckman, 74, and Buddy Jantoc, 79. The names of the other three have not yet been disclosed, as work is still underway to inform their families.
Several more victims have been named by friends and relatives, although they are yet to be included in the official register.
Carole Hartley, 60, from Alabama, was among the first known to have died in the wildfires
Franklin ‘Frankie’ Trejos, 68, died trying to shelter Sam, a golden retriever. Both was found dead inside a car
Clyde Wakida is pictured with his wife of 46 years, Penny. He died trying to save the house they built together 35 years ago
The slow pace at which victims’ have been named highlights the difficulties faced by responders in identifying remains. Island officials have urged survivors who are missing relatives to provide DNA swabs to help with the process.
Work continued as more footage emerged on Wednesday which lays bare the ferocity of the fires that swept across Maui at speeds of up to one mile per minute.
A video recorded in Lahaina shows tourists take cover in a swimming pool that is surrounded by buildings engulfed in flames. Thick clouds of smoke billow around them, carried by gusts from the passing Hurricane Dora, which contributed to the disaster.
The intense heat was enough to melt cars that were consumed by the fires, officials have said.