Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024|
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HONOLULU (AP) — A woman who escaped Maui’s Lahaina wildfire by running through a flaming field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit.
Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a gofundme page set up for her and her husband, Perry Allen.
“Laurie slipped away peacefully. Her heart was tired, and she was ready,” her sister-in-law, Penny Allen Hood, wrote on the website.
Allen’s husband, two brothers, a sister and other relatives were at her side. Allen was among at least 98 people killed by the fire Aug. 8 that devastated historic Lahaina on the west coast of Maui. The fire was the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century and destroyed 2,200 buildings, most of them homes.
The fire began when strong winds appeared to cause a Hawaiian Electric power line to fall and ignite dry brush and grass. After being declared contained, the fire flared up and raced through the town.
Perry Allen, an artist, was working 15 miles away when the fire hit.
Laurie Allen, a physical therapist’s administrative assistant, was home when the fire erupted. She fled with others in a vehicle, but a fallen, flaming tree blocked their way.
Allen got out of the car and fled 100 yards across a field of burning grass. A policeman and fireman met her, and she was taken to an emergency shelter. At the hospital, Allen endured infections and a series of operations, including skin grafts, and was brought into and out of consciousness. She had difficulty communicating but at one point raised hopes by being able to wiggle her toes when asked.
Her prognosis worsened in recent days, however, and Hood posted Thursday that “the battle to repair and rebuild Laurie’s earthly body” would soon be over. Allen was taken off life support Friday.
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