Minot man: mother likely lost to Hawaii fires

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 3:43 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. & LAHAINA, HAWAII (KMOT) – A Minot man whose mother was unaccounted for in the wake of the devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian islands said he now believes she likely perished in the fires.

Last week Your News Leader reported that Joshua Herman had not heard from his mother, 57-year-old Rebecca Rans Wells, who lived in Lahaina, since before the fires.

In a heartfelt social media post Wednesday, Herman said that, after speaking with hundreds of people, including detectives, they believe it’s not feasible that Wells and a friend were able to escape the flames, either on foot or in a vehicle.

In his post, Herman indicated it’s uncertain if they were able to try to escape, but he believes the danger was likely misjudged due to warning sirens not going off and lack of cell service.

“As tragic as this is for our family; the people of Lahaina, those of greater Maui, and the entire state of Hawaii will be reeling from the devastating effects of this wildfire for years to come. Please consider contributing to relief efforts there in any way you can,” said Herman, in his post.

As of Wednesday, the official death toll of the fires had risen to 111, with hundreds still missing. It’s one of the deadliest wildfires in recorded U.S. history.

Previous coverage:

To donate to relief efforts: Gray and The Salvation Army team up to bring ‘Hope for Hawaii’