A Kauai firefighter — busy rescuing others — deals with damage in his own home

WAINIHA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kauai firefighter lost everything when his Wainiha Valley home was destroyed during last week's flash flood.

The husband and father of three has been working nearly non-stop assisting with air rescues and other duties he's been assigned in the wake of the historic flooding disaster.

On Thursday he was able to break away long enough to go to his own house to assess the damage and figure out what's next.

A foot of silt was all that was left behind when Elijah Frank returned to the spot his home once stood. From the air you could see the path it carved into the land and where it came to rest nearly 100 yards off its foundation.

As storm conditions worsened over the weekend -- Frank and his family decided to evacuate and stay at a friend's house.

"I woke up in the morning came down here to check on our spot," said Frank. "I had a feeling things weren't going to be great. Then I got here. A little bit of a shocker."

Although it was just a temporary place to live while they built their new home on the opposite site of the property -- inside was everything they owned.

"There was several feet of water inside. You can see the ground three to four inches of mud," said Frank. "Brand new stove, brand new washer, brand new refrigerator. Covered in mud."

Frank's brother-in-law Alex Reinprecht shot video of his home and other homes in the area to document the need of all of the people living there.

"It's a very kind of desperate moment in Elijah's life," said Reinprecht. "He's kind of in a situation where his family needs him but the community also needs him."

Despite the many challenges ahead Frank remains optimistic about Kauai's future  and the community he's vowed to serve.

"It's not about me. It's about we. And making sure we all get back on our feet," said Frank.

Three lifeguards and two firefighters are among the dozens of people who's homes were damaged or destroyed on the island.

A Go Fund Me page has been created to help the Frank family. Click here to donate.

This story may be updated.

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