HOWELL, Mich. (WLNS) — It started out as a regular vacation, one that the Lewis family of Howell had been planning for months.
“We’ve been talking about it for years, but October of last year was when we really started the planning,” Terri Lewis, mother of the family, said.
But what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime quickly turned into trouble in paradise.
While coming back from a tour, the Lewis family returned to see most of the area up in smoke.
“It’s devastating just seeing everything that was happening a few miles down the street from us,” Terri’s daughter, Natalee Lewis, said. “It’s terrifying.”
After deciding not to go back to the hotel, they left behind souvenirs, clothes and even their rental car.
“We could see flames coming from the mountain and on the other side we could see smoke because there was more than one fire. So, sitting in that traffic you kind of feel like a sitting duck,” Terri Lewis said.
But the touring company Hawaii by Storm wanted to help out.
The Lewis family was given food and a place to sleep.
“An act of kindness,” Terri Lewis said. “They took us in, provided food, shelter, and protection — you know, safety.”
And for that, the family said they are forever grateful.
“I had no idea where we are,” Terri Lewis remembered. “Where to go, what to do, and I was so afraid of being without them. They kept us safe.”
Hawaii by Storm said it’s what the people who live in the state are meant to do.
“You don’t have to be blood to be family here,” said Sean Storm, owner and CEO of Hawaii by Storm. “You know, you go hungry, we’re going to feed you. You need a place to stay, you come stay with me. We’ll help you out because that’s what the aloha spirit is about.”
You can help out the touring company here.