Family of 4. Beloved sister. Uncle whose 'smile stood out': Some of the lives lost in Maui wildfires

A week after wildfires rapidly burned through parts of Maui, destroying most of the historic town of Lahaina, the Hawaiian community is mourning the devastating loss of life from the nation's deadliest blaze in more than a century.

As of Wednesday, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said at least 111 lives have been claimed and the death toll is expected to climb as search and rescue crews continue operations. Many family and friends are still waiting for news or are searching for answers on what might have happened to their missing loved ones.

Some estimates showed that more than 1,000 people remain missing or are unaccounted for.

On Tuesday, Maui County released the names of two victims: Lahaina residents Buddy Jantoc, 79, and Robert Dyckman, 74. They were the first two victims to be publicly identified by authorities. Another three victims have already been identified but their names will not be publicly released until families have been notified, the county said.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the families who are beginning to receive notifications about their loved ones," Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen said in a statement. "As a community, we offer our prayers of comfort in this most difficult time."

Other victims have been identified by family and friends, sharing the stories of their loved ones.

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Buddy Jantoc, 79

Buddy Jantoc was a beloved, local musician who was known for his warmth and generosity, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported. Nicknamed "Mr. Aloha," his family said Jantoc had toured the world when he was younger and loved playing bass guitar.

He was living in the Hale Mahaolu Eono in Lahaina when the wildfires destroyed the 34-unit senior housing complex, according to the website.

Jantoc’s niece, Kawehi Paio, told the Associated Press that music was a key part in her uncle’s life. She said Jantoc was a musical fixture who played at local hotels in Lahaina and several schools that teach the hula dance.

"My uncle was known for playing music across the world and the island of Maui for 30-plus years," she said.

Paio called her uncle a "happy-go-lucky guy" whose "smile stood out. He was always smiling," the Associated Press reported.

On a Facebook page dedicated to Jantoc, friends, and family posted photos and videos of him, including various local performances that he took part in.

Carole Hartley, 60

As TV footage showed the scale of devastation in Lahaina, Donna Hartley kept trying to reach her sister, Carole Hartley, but she wasn’t picking up her phone.

"I told my husband that if this is burned like this then Carole’s house is gone," the 62-year-old told the Associated Press.

Two days later, Carole's partner called to give the heartbreaking news. He told Donna that he had been in the front yard loading his car while Carole was in the backyard. But the car exploded as winds fanned the flames.

While Donna is still waiting for official DNA verification, Carole's partner told her Saturday night that he had found her sister’s remains, including her watch.

"Her birthday was August 28, and she was going to be 61 years old," Donna said. "She kept telling me as of late ... one more year sister, and I’m retiring."

She described her little sister as a free-spirited individual who had lived in Lahaina for 36 years. Donna added that her friends at home in Grand Bay, Alabama, plan on holding a memorial for Carole.

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Family of four attempted to flee

Four members of the same family — Faaso and Malui Fonua Tone, Salote Takafua, and her son, Tony Takafua — died while trying to escape the fires. Their remains were found August 10 in a burned car near their home.

"The magnitude of our grief is indescribable," read a statement from family members.

Lylas Kanemoto, who knew the Tone family, confirmed their deaths to The Associated Press Sunday.

"At least we have closure for them, but the loss and heartbreak is unbearable for many. We as a community has to just embrace each other and support our families, friends, and our community to our best of our abilities," Kanemoto said in a text message.

Franklin Trejos, 68

Franklin Trejos initially stayed behind to help save the home of his friend of 35 years, retired fire captain Geoff Bogar, and other Lahaina residents.

But as the fires inched closer, Trejos and Bogar knew they had to flee. The two friends each escaped to their individual cars.

While Bogar was able to break out of his vehicle after it wouldn't start and was later taken to a hospital when police patrol found him, Trejos didn’t make it.

Bogar told the Associated Press that he found the remains of his 68-year-old friend in the back seat of his car, lying on top of the remains of the Bogars' 3-year-old golden retriever, whom he had tried to protect.

A native of Costa Rica, Trejos had lived with Bogar and his wife, Shannon Weber-Bogar, for years and filled their lives with love and laughter. Weber-Bogar said Trejos helped her with her seizures when her husband couldn’t.

“God took a really good man,” Weber-Bogar said.

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