MENLO PARK, Calif. – Maui will soon receive a much-needed donation from a Bay Area fire department. Menlo Park Fire Protection District is donating a fire engine to Maui’s fire department, which lost two engines in last month’s devastating fires.
Menlo Park Fire says donating this truck is simply a part of what they do here, assisting other departments in need during some of their most challenging times.
“We just want the residents of Lahaina and the first responders there to know that they have not been forgotten,” said Virginia Chang Kiraly, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board Pres.
Last month, wildfires swept through parts of Maui, taking the lives of at least 97 people. Over two thousand properties were destroyed, thousands of people were displaced and some major fire dept. equipment was heavily damaged. Menlo Park’s fire district board recently decided this fire engine should be donated to Maui.
“I saw this picture of Maui County Fire dept.’s Engine one, it was completely destroyed. I thought, oh my gosh, we have a surplus. We just voted on a surplus for the last two years, and we had seven of these engines in surplus. I thought, why not?” Kiraly said.
On Monday, some Lahaina residents were allowed back into their neighborhood for the first time since the August 8th fires swept across parts of Maui. Maui’s Deputy Fire Chief says the donated fire engine will be a big help to their dept. and the community.
“It will help us fill our voids as far as our relief trucks because we got two engines that got damaged. We have two relief trucks in play at those stations. So, adding another quality relief truck will just help us bolster our fleet,” said Gavin Fujioka, Maui Fire Dept. Deputy Chief.
Menlo Park Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen says they’ll remove all contents from the truck first and then ship the donated fire engine to Maui in early November.
“You know it takes a village. No single entity can deal with these emergencies all by themselves. Menlo Park has a long history of that and that’s what we’re doing. Helping our brothers and sisters just across the Pacific Ocean in Maui,” Lorenzen said.
Deputy Chief Fujioka says they still have to get more approvals and examine the fire truck before using it, but they’re grateful for all the donations and support they’ve received.