EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An El Paso family has ties to the Hawaiian town of Lahaina that was devastated by fire with 80% of the town left in ash and the most recent death toll at 67.

El Paso resident Terrie Esparza grew up in Lahaina and moved to El Paso with her husband after meeting in the Navy.

The home she grew up in on the island that was built by her grandfather burned to the ground in the blaze.

Her brother Albert still lived in the home and he and his wife barely escaped.

“To see all this, it’s just devastating. But in my heart, he is a survivor because he knows the waters. He knows the area. He knows how to take care of himself and get out of there,” Esparza said.

She says she didn’t have contact with her brother for two days after learning of the fire.

“Finally, he called me, and I asked, Albert, ‘Are you OK?’ And he just sobbed through the whole…. sorry,” said Esparza as tears began to fill her eyes. “He just started crying through the whole thing. I just wanted to make sure you’re OK. If you’re OK, everything’s going to be fine.”

Her brother and his wife barely escaped as they were on their porch when they saw the fire coming. But their home was one of the at least a thousand buildings destroyed in the blaze.

Esparza watched the news searching for her family home.

“When they showed the aerial scenes of the helicopters going by after what happened, I said, ‘No, no, it can’t be true.’ The house has to still be there. We could see the trees, but we couldn’t see the house,” she said.

Even though she moved away years ago, Esparza has gone back many times to visit and has always kept Lahaina close to her heart.

“Ohana, what we call in Hawaii family, and it’s just a strong bond between all of us,” Esparza said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe for Albert and his wife.