An Adelaide family has growing concerns for their missing family member, feared dead in the destructive Hawaii wildfires.
Alfie Rawlings’ family is desperate to know if he survived the deadliest fire in modern US history.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Growing fears for Adelaide great-grandfather missing, feared dead in Hawaii.
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“What keeps me up at night is the fact that he was by himself and he was stuck in his wheelchair and he couldn’t get out,” Rawlings’ daughter Shirley McPherson told 7NEWS.
“That kind of drives me insane.”
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Rawlings’ unit in an assisted living complex in Hawaii was one of the first to go up in flames, McPherson said.
“There’s nothing left of the apartment complex,” she said.
“It’s completely flattened, it’s just turned to ash, so I presume that he’s died.”
But after five days, McPherson still can’t reach anyone to help her find her dad — or his body.
“It’s the not knowing,” she said.
Alfie Rawlings is missing in the Hawaii wildfires after his assisted living unit was destroyed. Credit: Facebook
Images of strangers searching the ruins have been a heartbreaking sight for McPherson.
“You’re walking all over all the stuff,” she said. “You think, ‘that could be my dad you’re stepping over’.”
If McPherson’s worst fears are confirmed, the next step would be providing a DNA sample to see if it matches with any remains.
This process could take months.
McPherson is praying her father at least took shelter with others.
“I’m hoping that’s what happened,” she said.
Still battling flames
Almost 100 people have now died in the wildfires.
Crews of firefighters are still battling flare-ups on the island, and cadaver dogs have been brought in to search for the remains of victims.
Those who survived are starting to share their stories.
“Every time the wind blew, the other trees burst into fire,” Lahaina resident Fred Shaw told 7NEWS.
“And then all of that rained down.”
Akanesi Vaa, 38, and her family got stuck in traffic while trying to escape the flames.
Vaa, her husband and her children aged 15, 13 and 9 fled on foot and jumped a fence to safety. Along the way, an elderly woman pleading for help handed her a baby to care for. The woman and her husband also made it over the fence.
But Vaa is staying positive.
“All these ashes are going to turn into beauty,” Vaa said. “I know Lahaina will come back 10 times stronger.”
-With Hannah Foord, 7NEWS
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