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Maui Fire leaves 93 dead; The deadliest U.S wildfire in a century

By: Phoebe Huang

In Lahaina, a deadly wildfire ravages through resorts and neighborhoods. The gales pushed the fire into many corners of the crowded town, leaving residents and tourists helpless. Many jumped in the water out of desperation.

Sofe Rosenthal, one of the many people who was forced into the sea, recalls the day. “There was nothing else to do. You can’t go left, you can’t go right, you can’t turn around. The only thing left to do is go into the water.”

Rosenthal, 37, and his family, who live a few miles north of the burned area, were lucky. His grandfather’s house, built in 1972, was burnt to a crisp. His aunt escaped, but she “could barely see, driving through smoke.”

Not everyone was so lucky. A friend Rosenthal knew since childhood died in her car with her son. Many believe the tragedy was caused by a lack of communication. The warnings were only on televisions, cellular phones, radios, and a local notification system. But due to a power outage, the notifications were not able to reach locals and tourists. There were outdoor alarm systems, but they were not activated– officials intended to use the other methods.

Many locals’ houses were destroyed, and many witnessed it happen. M.J Dellacruz, a 22-year-old cook, stepped out of the restaurant to get some fresh air. But what she saw instead was smoke rising from her neighborhood. At that very moment, she knew that her house was burning to the ground.

Even many important buildings – [synonym to important] to both individuals and the town as a whole -- have burned down. [Some other sentence about these lost buildings / their importance.] The rebuilding process might provide new opportunities for the citizens, and there is also hope for possible improvements and technological advancements.

[Closing thoughts. You could end with another anecdote from a survivor.]

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