Lahaina family finds keepsakes, signs of life on burned-out property

Suited up from head to toe with Personal Protective Equipment to keep them safe, the Vierra family returned to their home on the corner of Kaniau Road in Lahain
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:35 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 1:55 PM HST
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LAHAINA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Suited up from head to toe with PPE to keep them safe, the Vierra family returned to their home in Lahaina on Tuesday afternoon.

The Vierras moved there in 1974.

Michael “Mika” Vierra, a 2001 Lahainaluna High School graduate, flew in from Utah for the occasion — the first time the family had gotten the chance to see the devastation in person.

“There’s no expectations to really find anything,” Vieera said.

“Anything that we can find, I feel like, it’s just going to be a bonus. If we can find anything that we can identify, it will be nice to have something to remember the old house by. But by the looks of it, though, I don’t know what we’re going to be able to find.”

However, to their surprise, Vierra’s mom — Leola — was able to find mementos from her special cow collection. “I think this is the only one that survived,” she said.

They also found a watch Vierra’s sister gave to their dad on Father’s Day.

And Grandpa Cirilo Figuerres pistol.

“It’s a souvenir my mom gave me when my dad passed away,” said Leola.

Vierra said his grandpa was a police officer for the Maui Police Department from the 1940s to the 1970s. He said he was the first Filipino police officer in Lahaina and served as an interpreter for the Filipino community because he spoke three different dialects.

However, just as they started digging — and finding — officials blocked off the property with caution tape and said it was unsafe to enter after all. They were told to return Saturday.

Despite the inconvenience, Vierra and his family are looking on the bright side.

Leola said she is grateful to see life in the three trees she planted for each child – Mika, Leslie, and Mikey — her son who passed away in 1981.

Vierra said he is also thankful that some of their plumeria trees survived. He’s collecting money to donate to other families who lost more than they did in last month’s fire.

If you would like to help, click here.