Couple begins new chapter in Brevard after losing everything in Maui wildfires

A man and his wife are rebuilding their lives in Brevard, N.C., after losing everything in the Lahaina wildfires, according to our partners at WLOS News in Asheville.

Chris Bilotta and his wife, Ngoc Mai Bilotta, had their bags packed for a trip to Brevard, so they could check out the area before they relocated permanently. Biolatta told WLOS he was thankful they were both fully packed when the fires started on Aug. 8.

ALSO READ: Maui fire missing list falls slightly to 385. Governor had indicated it would be below 100

Just days after the fires ended, Biolatta and his wife returned home to see their once-second-story leveled to the ground, and his wife’s car was completely destroyed, WLOS reports.

According to Biolatta, the heat from the flames was so intense that it caused other vehicles to melt and incinerated his fire safe.

WLOS reports that Bilotta didn’t know anyone who was killed or got hurt in the fire, but they did know of some friends who barely escaped the blaze by jumping into the ocean.

“Most of the people I know lost their homes; they lost their apartments, but they got out in time—but some of them barely,” Bilotta told WLOS. “The only way they could survive was by jumping in the ocean. And that’s what they did.”

Biolatta had lived on Maui for more than two decades and is now staying with friends in Brevard until he and his wife find a permanent home, WLOS reports.

(WATCH BELOW: Independence Park house fire intentionally set, CFD says)