30/05/2024

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Update: Vacationing Bay Area parents trapped during deadly chaos of Maui wildfires reunited with children

2 min read
Update: Vacationing Bay Area parents trapped during deadly chaos of Maui wildfires reunited with children

Maui wildfires keep vacationing Bay Area family separated for days


Maui wildfires keep vacationing Bay Area family separated for days

01:49

MAUI — A Bay Area family separated during the pandemonium of the Maui wildfires was finally reunited after days of not knowing if they would see each other again.

For more than two days, Sean Pasin and his wife Xenia could only wonder if their 15-month-old baby Luke and 7-year-old son Matthew were safe without any way of contacting them. Cell service was shut down across large portions of the island soon after wildfires ripped through parts of Maui.  

“I believe in miracles, but they don’t happen often,” said Pasin. 

They left their young children with their grandfather at a hotel Tuesday afternoon on the west side of the island as they ran errands. They were buying groceries in Lahaina when the inferno ignited and quickly spread, powered by hurricane-force winds. 

Road closures made it difficult for families to reunite. 

Xenia found a way to hop onto a special bus late Wednesday that was taking trapped tourists back to the hotel in Ka’anapali, reuniting the relieved mother with her children.

“I’m so excited that they’re with me now. And yeah, beyond happy. It’s just unbelievable,” she said.  

State and federal officials say thousands are displaced after fleeing the flames. Many travelers stayed overnight at the airport and emergency shelters. 

The Pasin family is grateful to take a flight back home to the Bay Area, knowing the devastation has left so many reeling amid the many lives and homes lost. 

“We know from what we’ve seen that people here need a lot of help and resources. So just encourage people to keep on giving. Keep on encouraging. Keep on praying,” said Pasin.  

The major concern is for the many missing — estimated at more than 1,000 people by some officials — who remain unaccounted for as search and rescue operations continue.

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