Resident Recalls Fire, Applauds Men And Women Responders
By LORI BUTIERRIES
The fire in Makakilo started in late August. It was scary standing in the street, watching the hill behind my house turn from green to orange as the fire grew and consumed whatever was in its path.
My neighbors and I (complete strangers) gathered together to comfort one another and to wait anxiously for word to reach us on what direction the fire was spreading, and to see if we were in danger of being evacuated as well.
The winds were on our side, which made a larger evacuation unnecessary, so my neighbors and I all eventually returned to our individual homes to carry on as usual, without much regard really being given to the many men and women in the fire department and other various rescue services who stayed up all night protecting our homes and who put their own lives on the line to do so.
It surprises me how little coverage has been given to the efforts of these individuals, then and now, as they continue to make such wonderful sacrifices on behalf of the community. I can only imagine how tired, drained, stressed out and (possibly) unappreciated they must feel.
I may not speak on behalf of all the people living in Makakilo, but I do speak from the bottom of my heart when I say “thank you” to the men and women in the fire and police departments who put my needs and those of everyone else before their own.
It cannot be easy to work under such hot weather conditions and to do so with such limited resources at your disposal. It cannot feel good to be hungry or to get thirsty, but have no time to see to your most basic needs as you fight tirelessly to beat this long-lasting fire into submission.
Your efforts have not been wasted, nor have they gone unnoticed. I appreciated being able to lay my head down in bed that first night with the smell of smoke hanging heavy in the air and not having to be afraid to fall asleep because I knew that there were hard-working men and women laboring around the clock to make sure that all was well and being taken care of. And I am equally thankful that I can continue to rest easy every night because I know that there are people willing to protect me and mine when the situation calls for it.
Thank you for doing what you do, because what you do matters and this community benefits greatly from your services.