Historic Lahaina on Maui has been destroyed by recent fires, and forensics experts are still working to identify remains.
Guillermo Coscarelli, a veteran of the Falklands War and a survivor of a terror assault, had remained on the ground in the affected areas. He and his buddy, Ariel Ferrer, 48, from Argentina, dropped supplies to needy families.
Coscarelli has been watching the death and damage firsthand since he began delivering relief to those in need, but he has been unable to locate any local landmarks or homes to use as a frame of reference.
As the owner of a water sports shop, he has lost all he had worked for since moving to Maui 20 years ago, including his boat and 35 jet skis. They burnt up in the fires.
He canceled his bookings when high winds and strong seas kicked in. That decision saved his life. He said a half hour later; he would have been burnt to a crisp.
Building and residential addresses in the area have been destroyed to the point that they are no longer helpful. Many residents have approached Coscarelli requesting that he check on their homes after being denied entry. Even he, he added, gets disoriented wandering the streets since there is nothing left to see.
Veteran and survivor of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Coscarelli arrived on Wall Street from Long Island at 10 a.m. to aid in the search and rescue effort, rescuing numerous people from the rubble of the Twin Towers. In 1988, he crossed the Atlantic and settled in Manhattan, where he worked as a bodyguard and motorcycle technician. He also became a member of the Guardian Angels, a group of civilians that patrol the streets of New York City without weapons to reduce the city’s soaring crime rate.
Later, as rubble from the first tower’s fall ignited Building 7 of the World Trade Center, Coscarelli attempted to rescue those trapped within. At about 5:20 that evening, it would begin to fall.
He said the damage in Hawaii has far-reaching consequences, making it even more devastating than 9/11.