Fund aims to aid first responders — who ran toward the flames in Lahaina

Firefighters we talked to say the situation was untenable when they lost water supply
Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 5:35 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 19, 2023 at 5:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A special relief effort is underway to help West Maui’s first responders, who not only worked to fight the flames and save residents on the night of the Lahaina fire but also lost homes and loved ones in the ferocious blaze.

Aina Kohler, a Lahaina firefighter, is one of more than 20 first responders who lost their homes while trying to put out the blaze.

She says the road to recovery will not only focus on the physical damage, but the emotional.

Firefighters say battling the flames was near impossible — with hydrants dry and winds gusting to 80 mph. Their efforts went from stopping the fire to rescuing people from the rapidly burning town.

TIMELINE: This is how the Lahaina disaster unfolded, hour by hour

“You still feel you could’ve done more. There’s a feeling of letting my town down,” said Kohler.

“I couldn’t save and be the hero. Yeah, I’ve thought of that for sure.”

HNN has learned the breakdown of first responders who lost their home:

15 Firefighters

2 Airport Fire

4 Lifeguard


8 PD

The Maui County First Responder Relief Fund has now been set up for first responders like Kohler who worked endlessly into the night to save as many as they could.

To help, click here.