'I was freaking out:' Seattle restaurant owner's family forced from home due to Maui fire

The wildfire raging in Maui is thousands of miles away from Seattle, but many are still feeling the impacts of its devastation. 

On Wednesday, confusion and frustration set in for travelers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, who found out their Hawaiian trips were canceled.

"We got in around 10-ish and got the email that Maui was on fire, and we were advised not to travel," said Maureen Soens.

Soens and her family had a vacation planned in Lahaina. Now, the family is working to figure out what to do next.

"It’s just frustrating," she said.

Emotions were high for many in the airport, but even more so for the people in western Washington with loved ones directly affected by the fires.

"I was freaking out because I was like, ‘oh my God, my uncle,' you know? They live right in the heart of Lahaina. They’re right there," said Randi Buza, a part owner of Kauai Family Restaurant in Seattle.


A wildfire on Maui kills at least 6 as it sweeps through historic town, forcing some into the ocean

A wildfire tore through the heart of the Hawaiian island of Maui in darkness Wednesday, reducing much of a historic town to ash and forcing people to jump into the ocean to flee the flames. At least six people died and dozens were wounded.

She says she woke up to the videos of Lahaina on fire, and immediately thought of her family.

"I texted him, and he answered me right away. So I was pretty happy that I heard [back]," she said.

FOX 13 News spoke to Randi’s uncle, Chris Buza, over the phone.

He said he and his wife were about 30 minutes from their home when the fire started. They haven't been able to get back to their house and have no idea when they will be able to do so.

However, they are not stranded and are able to stay with a friend.

"It’s hard to hear when your fellow Hawaiians, and locals from Hawaii in Hawaii, are going through this kind of stuff. It’s devastating to lose everything you have," said Buza. "Our prayers and our love goes out to all the people in Hawaii," she added.

Wednesday evening, President Joe Biden ordered all available federal assets to help with the fires.

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