Woman with Valley ties loses home in Maui wildfires

Brianna Willis Image
Friday, August 11, 2023
Woman with Valley ties loses home in Maui wildfires
Before Ryan Cancino and McCall Hartline moved into their Lahaina home six years ago, it burned down in a previous hurricane.

MAUI, Hawaii. (KFSN) -- Before Ryan Cancino and McCall Hartline moved into their Lahaina home six years ago, it burned down in a previous hurricane.

Hartline, a Central California native, says she never thought their home would burn down twice.

But now, the unthinkable has happened.

"Their option is to drown or burn alive," said Hartline.

That's how McCall Hartline describes the moments after an inferno destroyed the historic town of Lahaina on the west side of Maui.

"I smelled smoke, and we looked in the back window, and there was a brush fire, and it just, I've never seen it spread so fast. I've never seen anything like it," said Hartline.

McCall grew up in the Central Valley. She went to Valley Oak, Kastner, Clovis West and Fresno State.

For the past six years, McCall and her husband Ryan Cancino called Lahaina home until now.

"I see our house burning. It's completely gone. Everyone I know, everyone's home is gone, my job's gone. I mean, the whole town is just gone," said Hartline.

They tried to fight the fire at their home themselves until conditions quickly changed, and they realized they needed to pack up and leave.

"Maybe 2 shirts each, a couple -- you know -- socks, underwear. Some paperwork and the dogs, I mean, we couldn't grab. We had no water, no dog food, no food for us. I mean, we literally have nothing," said Hartline.

While they were able to grab their dogs, Gooner and Chica, it's been a challenge trying to get off Maui.

"They're not even flying pets right now because of the emergency proclamation. So they're just making it harder with people with pets to get out," said Hartline.

McCall says while there are resources, she wants tourists to put their trips to any part of the island on pause.

"You can't help but feel angry if you come here. You're just taking resources away. We couldn't even get gas. I mean, the gas stations were running out of gas," said Hartline.

Due to the lack of cell service, they are still working to check in with all of their loved ones to make sure they are okay but know despite losing their home she knows they are fortunate.

"I feel like we are definitely some of the lucky ones, for sure," said Hartline.

Right now, they plan on coming back to Fresno where McCall's family is, but don't know exactly what the future holds.

"It's hard to plan the rest of your life when it was just taken. We love it here, we wanna come back, but you know, it's a matter of when it's gonna take years for this to be rebuilt," said Hartline.

They are planning on flying on a friend's private charter plane Sunday since they can't get their dogs on the airlines, and they both say the help speaks the spirit of Hawaii. No matter where you are, Ohana means family.

"That's the cool part about Hawaii and Maui is like, everyone's so close. Yeah, I mean, everyone's full of aloha. You know, everyone wants to help each other out, even when they're in the same position," said Hartline and Cancino.

Right now, they tell me they just moved motels again before their flight Sunday.

They plan on flying into Seattle and renting a car to drive down to Fresno.

A go fund me has been set up to help them rebuild.

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