CHICAGO — One of the first flights from Hawaii landed in Chicago Thursday morning as the deadly fires burn through Hawaii.

Travelers have been trying to evacuate for the last 48 hours but haven’t been able to due to road closures.

An Illinois resident who landed at O’Hare Thursday morning was one of the first travelers to leave Maui as the fire spread throughout the island.

“We had power outage for about 36 hours, there were hurricane winds. It was really bad,” Mark Mautino from Spring Valley, Illinois said.

He and his wife got off the island before the fires spread but road closures kept them close to the resort.

“We went for a walk. We turned the corner and Laianna was just on fire,” Mautino said.

Lahaina Maui, Photo Courtesy of Mark Muatino

At least 53 people have died from the fires. Hurricane Dora winds whipped up brush fires that have now devastated the island.

Some people were fortunate enough to jump in the Pacific Ocean to escape the smoke and flames.

Mautino said it looked like a bomb went off.

Mautino said due to the power outage the resort he was staying at started grilling burgers and chicken to feed guests.

The Hawaiian government has been working with airlines to get as many people out of harms way as possible.

“It was bad. If someone is going the other way, you got to hold your breath,” Mautino said.

Many travelers attempting to leave the airport had to wait 90 minutes to catch a car to reach the airport and get off the island.

As those wildfires in Hawaii continue to burn, there have been a number of organizations with trained volunteers stepping in to help.

One man volunteered to go this morning and within a few hours received a call for his deployment.

Paul Bamman leaves Friday morning for Maui to join other Red Cross volunteers in distributing supplies to help those impacted by the wildfires. He’s currently in south suburban Frankfort and a part of the greater Chicago chapter.

Bamman has been assisting through the organization since 2018, helping people impacted by tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes and the California wildfires.

World Central Kitchen will also have boots on the ground in Maui.

The non profit organization that arrived Wednesday night to support food and water needs for first responders, evacuated residents, and tourists.

World Central Kitchen said they delivered hundreds of sandwiches to emergency workers fighting the blaze near Lahaina. On Thursday, they visited shelters and rural communities on Maui and the Big Island to fill meal needs.