Iron Range natives share what it’s like to be living in Maui right now in the wake of the fires

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It’s been nearly a week since devastating fires ripped across parts of Maui.

For Reese Coldagelli and his wife, Jen, they had little notice to leave. “We had a five minute warning,” he remembers.

The flames that raced across their town of Lahaina swallowed up their home, their business, Banyan Treats, and their car.

They’ve applied for assistance from FEMA, and got a claim in to Geico for their car.

RELATED: Donate to help the residents of Maui.

Coldagelli told us on Saturday that they are staying at a friend’s condo for now, in a different part of the island.

They hope to rebuild someday. “We are trying to be optimistic, and hope it’s like New Orleans, and can be rebuilt in a few years. Hopefully we can get our doors back open. Being here has brought stability in my life, and the community needs us,” he said.

John Lindquist, who grew up in Mt. Iron, is living with his wife and kids just outside of Lahaina.

He posted on Facebook about seeing the billowing smoke and worrying about evacuations. He described the winds as ‘scary strong,’ on the day the fires broke out.

They did not have to leave, but had lost power. He does have a generator, which they’ve been able to fill up. And they were able to get some messages out to worried loved ones back on the mainland. His art studio is still OK.

If you’d like to donate to the GoFundMe to help the Coldagelli family and their relatives:

Reese also has a PayPal:

Or you can send a check to his parents, Peggy and Gordy Coldagelli, 7521 Bodas Road, Eveleth, MN 55734