“Fortunately, our team members are healthy, and none of them lost their homes to the fires. We did have several team members who had to evacuate their homes at various times last week, but thankfully their homes were spared, and they are safe,” Damian Pherigo, vice president of the Honolulu-based retailer, told Furniture Today. “Unfortunately, there are members of our team that lost loved ones and others who haven’t been able to get in touch with friends that lived in Lahaina.”
Pherigo said neither of C.S. Wo’s stores on the island were affected by the fires. Since the fires started on Aug. 8, Hawaii Governor Josh Green said the blazes have killed at least 110 people, while the Pacific Disaster Center and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have estimated damage or destruction to more than 2,200 structures at a loss of $5.5 billion.
He said the devastation has revealed the character of Hawaiians, who have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors.
“Amidst this challenging time, it has been amazing to see the Aloha spirit at work,” Pherigo said. “The outpouring of love and support for those impacted has been incredible, whether it’s been monetary or volunteers boating donations into hard-to-reach areas or the mounds of necessities donated at our state capital and other drop off locations.
“The recovery is just getting started, though, and there is a long, long way to go.”
Pherigo also noted that members of the home furnishings industry have made it clear that C.S. Wo is on their minds.
“Our hearts have also been warmed by the support coming from our partners across the globe. We’ve been getting daily emails, text messages and calls with warm wishes, prayers and commitments to support the recovery effort through merchandise and monetary donations,” Pherigo said. “The genuine caring and support we’ve seen is a clear example of what makes the home furnishings industry so special.”