how a paradise became a death trap an update

This week, The Daily is revisiting some of our favorite episodes of the year and checking in on what has happened in the time since.

Warning: This episode contains descriptions of death.

When fires swept West Maui, Hawaii, many residents fled for their lives — but soon discovered they had nowhere to go. Thousands of structures, mostly homes, had been reduced to rubble. Husks of incinerated cars lined the historic Front Street in Lahaina, while search crews nearby made their way painstakingly from house to house, looking for human remains.

Ydriss Nouara, a resident of Lahaina, recounts his experience fleeing the inferno, and Mike Baker, the Seattle bureau chief for The Times, explains how an extraordinary set of circumstances turned the city into a death trap.


Mike Baker, the Seattle bureau chief for The New York Times.

A landscape of palm trees and buildings that are engulfed in flames.
The hall of Waiola Church and the nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission on Maui were engulfed in flames.Matthew Thayer/The Maui News, via Associated Press

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Mike Baker contributed reporting.

Special thanks to Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Shawn Hubler, Serge F. Kovaleski and Alain Delaquérière.

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