Hale Mahaolu Eono releases statement on wildfire response and timeline of events

Listen to this Article
4 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Background image via Hale Mahaolu website / Maui Now foreground graphic.

An official statement was released this morning from Hale Mahaolu Eono regarding last Tuesdayʻs wildfire. The corporation also released a timeline of events, and actions taken during the incident.

Hale Mahaolu Mono is located at 810 Kelawea Street in Lahaina, mauka of the Honoapiʻilani Highway, along Lahainaluna Road.

“Hale Mahaolu has been working tirelessly to locate our tenants by calling the contact phone number(s) we have for them,” the statement read.

Below are initial estimates provided by Hale Mahaolu on the status of Hale Mahaolu Eono tenants.

  • 22 Tenants have been located (includes the resident manager)
  • 4 Tenants have not responded to phone messages
  • 4 Tenants’ family members have confirmed they are missing
  • 3 Tenants reported deceased by media
  • 2 Units were vacant at time of fire

*Note: These are preliminary figures that Hale Mahaolu gathered in “a very difficult communications environment.” Hale Mahaolu advises the figures will change as they continue to gather information.

“We are deeply saddened by reports of the passing of Hale Mahaolu tenants in the recent wildfires in Maui. Our thoughts and condolences are with their family and loved ones. The safety of our tenants has always been our foremost priority. We are here to provide any necessary assistance and support during this difficult time.”

— Grant Chun, Hale Mahaolu executive director.

Account for August 8

*Note: The account and timeline below are provided by Hale Mahaolu and are based on the recollections of staff who were working under extreme conditions to help tenants. All times are approximate.

“As we continue to gather info, we will update them with the most accurate information we have. Unfortunately, summer wildfires are common around Lahaina.


“At first, Aug. 8, seemed like it would be little different from other days with nearby wildfires. Early on, staff went door to door, alerting tenants that they may need to evacuate themselves and that they should get ready.

“Our tenants are independent adults, who navigate their own lives. Our staff is available to help them when they request help, but we respect their autonomy and privacy. Many of our residents have their own vehicles and they often carpool with their fellow tenants.

“For generations, Hale Mahaolu has provided stable housing to low-income seniors on Maui. We help them with assistance and funding for housing that allow most to spend no more than 30% of their income on their housing. Many have family and friends in the community. They come and go as they please, with no obligation to inform us of their whereabouts.

“On the morning of Aug. 8, Hale Mahaolu Eono had five different staffers on site at various times in the morning. Most have responsibilities at more than one of our properties. The resident manager’s role was to be on call at the property during evenings and weekends. He spent the early morning working at one of our other properties. We aim to have at least one staffer in the office, available to tenants. On the 8th, at least one staffer was on site until approximately 11:30 a.m.


“Most residents heeded our warnings to leave the property. When our resident manager decided to evacuate with his wife, he encouraged four residents to leave with him. All four decided not to leave with him.

“We don’t fully know the reasons those four residents remained. They may have decided to stay because they heard warnings in previous years that didn’t result in this level of devastation. They may also have heard the news that Maui officials declared the fire ‘100% contained.’”

Timeline for Aug. 8, 2023

*Note: The account and timeline below are provided by Hale Mahaolu and are based on the recollections of staff who were working under extreme conditions to help tenants. All times are approximate.

  • 7:30 a.m.:
    • A non-resident staffer working at the property sees smoke and decides to alert tenants to the situation and the possibility they may want to evacuate themselves.
  • 7:30 a.m. – 8 a.m.:
    • Several staffers knock on the door of each unit in the complex, alerting tenants to the situation, encouraging them to be ready to evacuate themselves.
    • In one instance, they receive no response to their knocks, so they enter the unit and wake the tenant inside to deliver the news.
  • 9 a.m.: The brush fire in Lahaina is declared “100% contained” by Maui County officials.
  • Between 9 and 10 a.m.:
    • The resident manager, who was working at a different Hale Mahaolu property, returns to Eono.
    • Note: The role of the resident manager is to be available during off hours. Normally, other staff are on duty during regular business hours.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Strong winds bring down trees and electrical poles in the Lahaina area.
  • 11:30 a.m. – noon:
    • The area is very hot and smoky.
    • No evacuation notice for Eono’s neighborhood has been issued by the County of Maui.
    • The resident manager sees four tenants talking outside, he invites them into his unit.
    • The resident manager decides to evacuate with his wife.
    • He encourages the four residents to leave with him. All four decide not to leave with him.
    • The resident manager and his wife evacuate from the property.

Hale Mahaolu is a private nonprofit corporation, that was organized in 1967. It has been a sponsor, developer, owner and manager of 17 different properties (approximately 1,300 units) in Maui County (including the islands of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi).

According to the nonprofit’s website,  the corporation’s purpose is to “develop and manage safe, sanitary, decent housing as well as provide supportive services for very low to moderate income seniors, families and individuals in Maui County.”


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments