His video of Lahaina burning went viral. Now he has a simple message for the world

A young man who saved himself and his family from the Lahaina fire storm on Aug. 8 by fleeing into the ocean has a message for the world.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 12:40 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 10:10 AM HST
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LAHAINA - As a ferocious wall of flames ripped through Lahaina town, Noah Tomkinson, his 13-year-old brother Milo and his mother jumped into the waters off Front Street.

Tomkinson was terrified, but knew he needed to document what was happening.

He started recording — and that video has since gone viral.

He said as he watched Lahaina burn, he was “just thinking about all the people’s homes and all the other people. All the pets that had nowhere to go and the fact that I grew up you know in Lahaina town,” Tomkinson said. “It was just all those memories were kind of flushing through my head.”

“I was just thinking about all that and hoping that somehow all the people would make it.”

Noah’s mother, Tina, went back to their home off Pauwala Place and took a photo of it burned to the ground. Nearby, she found a fire engine — or at least what’s left of it.

“Seeing the before and after, that really hit me hard,” said Noah.

More than a week later, he says so many people are still desperate for donations.

His message to the world: Please help.

“The donations need to get to the people,” he said.

He says critical needs right now are families willing to house survivors, foster families for pets and monetary donations so the people of Lahaina can slowly start get back on their feet.

He wants to remind everyone this is a marathon not a sprint.

“I can’t stress enough how much help the island needs.”

If you would like to help Noah and his family, click here.