Maui was ablaze last week after wildfires swept through, and the dead are still being uncovered by search and rescue teams. Fears that more children among the dead will be found grow as 7-year-old boy was found burned to death in car.
On Wednesday, the death toll at 110 rose to 111 after a 7-year-old boy was found burned to death in a car with the remains of his family.
Lawmaker Elle Cochran fears that many more of the dead who have yet to be found will be children who were left home due to the school being closed due to power outages the day of the fires. Many children who stayed home when their parents went to work could have been trapped and subsequently perished in the blaze.
Jessica Sill, a kindergarten teacher on Maui, told the Wall Street Journal, "Our parents work one, two, three jobs just to get by and they can’t afford to take a day off... Without school, there was nowhere for [kids] to go that day.”
Sill said the boy who lost his life in the car had two of his cousins in her class. She is worried that the kids in her class won't be able to handle the trauma of the loss they will now carry.
"We will do whatever we need to support them through this catastrophe," Sill added.
Authorities on the island have had to revert to DNA testing in many cases as many of the victims cannot be identified by fingerprints. A team from the United States Department of Health and Human Services is being sent to help identify bodies.
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green's Office announced Hawaii's Fire Relief Housing Initiative on Thursday. It will provide Hawaiians, who have been left without a place to stay, with housing at hotels and timeshares in the area.
"I really want to thank the leadership of our West Maui hotels who worked expeditiously to open up their rooms for our survivors," Green said.
The number of missing people from Lahaina has gone down from around 2,000 to about 1,300 as of Tuesday.
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