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‘Total Lie’: Maui Resident Calls Out Police Chief for Saying Officers Knocked on Doors

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A local leader in relief efforts disputes the claim made by the police superintendent of Maui that officers attempted to evacuate residents from the fatal fires on August 8.

Lahaina was destroyed by the island-wide conflagrations that ravaged the island. 115 individuals have been officially identified as victims of the fire, with hundreds more still missing.

In the aftermath of the disaster, numerous residents have complained about the absence of prior warning. Although Maui has a warning siren system, none were activated.

According to the Associated Press, Maui Police Chief John Pelletier stated on Tuesday that police drove up and down Lahaina streets, rapping on doors and using loudspeakers to urge evacuations.

Pelletier did not provide the AP with these specifics, and the information has not yet been made public, so the AP has sought records to determine the exact date and location.

According to Breitbart, rescue commander Dale Hermo-Fernandez stated that the event never occurred.

“Lie. Total lie. Total lie. That is false. No loudspeaker, nothing,” he said.

He said there was “no warning, no sirens. Nobody knew.”

On the morning of August 8, the first fires broke out on the island. According to Honolulu Civil Beat, a forest fire that was declared extinguished rekindled after firefighters departed the area.

As they battled the blaze, which broke out at 3 p.m., firefighters ordered the evacuation of a single road, but nowhere else, it was reported.

At 4:30 p.m., residents were advised to remain in position as the wind-driven flames approached Lahaina.

Lisa Vorpahl told The Washington Post that police were in her neighborhood at 6:37 a.m. to urge evacuations due to an early fire caused by high winds snapping a power pole.

A few hours later, Lisa’s husband Eddy Vorpahl recalled, “Nothing was happening. A couple fire engines were there. They were all packing stuff up. It looked 100 percent fine.”

According to Civil Beat, Ingrid Lynch stated that officers visited her home in the morning regarding a fallen tree, but never mentioned a fire threat.

“At that point, they never said anything to us about evacuating,” she said.

According to Breitbart, Hermo-Fernandez asserted that police created a bottleneck.

“In fact, the police made a mistake. They forced people down the Front Street thinking it was safe, which at the time I could see what — you know, if I’m a police officer in the middle of that, I can see where he was coming from, because Hanoapiilani Highway had had the lines down on the ground, so nobody could really pass it. So I could see why he would tell him go around on Front Street. But that also created a gridlock in Front Street. And when the gridlock locked up, nobody, nobody could move,” he said.

Pelletier told AP that residents were trapped between “downed power lines, which would kill you if you drove over them — or a fire that’s engulfed the area.”

He stated that police barricades never prevented individuals from fleeing.

According to the Associated Press, Hawaiian Electric Company on Sunday fought back against a Maui County lawsuit that held the utility responsible for the flames.

The utility denied Maui County’s claim that power was not cut off when the fires broke out.

The utility company acknowledged that the 8 August morning fire “appears to have been caused by power lines that fell due to high winds.” Hawaiian Electric stated that firefighters are to blame for the rekindled and lethal fire.

Richard Fried, a co-counsel on Maui County’s litigation from Honolulu, stated that if the power company’s lines had not caused the initial fire, “all of this would be irrelevant.”

“That’s the biggest problem,” Fried said. “They can dance around this all they want. But there’s no explanation for that.”

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