WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A family from Wrightsville Beach is counting their blessing after their home was destroyed in the devastating Maui wildfires.
Chip Venters said the initial moments after learning about the fires thousands of miles away were gut-wrenching. He was waiting to hear if his daughter who lives in Lahaina was OK. Thankfully as luck would have it, she was not at home at the time.
Neither was his niece, who also lives in Lahaina, but happened to be back in North Carolina visiting Venters when she got the news.
"I woke up to her just literally weeping and I woke up and said what's going on she said Lahaina's burning and I didn't know where my daughter was I had no idea," Venters said.
Both of their homes are now gone.
Venters' daughter and her boyfriend also worked for Lahaina-based boat tours which were also burned. Now without a home or job, they're wondering what's next for them.
Venters had just visited his daughter on Maui a few months ago and is now clinging to memories.
"Lahaina's such a cool town, I said to my daughter just try and remember it as it was, but everyone just wants to help," he said.
Venters said his daughter is still waiting on word from friends and co-workers who are still among the thousands missing.
As of Friday at noon Hawaii time, Lahaina residents will be allowed back into the town to assess their property damage.