Arizonans impacted by deadly Maui fire as it forces evacuations

A State of Emergency on the Hawaiian island of Maui was declared where multiple wildfires are burning.

Officials say winds of a distant hurricane devastated the island, forcing tourists and residents to flee. Some were even forced to jump into the ocean to escape the fire.

Reports indicate the town is completely destroyed. Several people have died.

"My town factory is historic. If you know Lahaina, it's probably historic back to the 1800s, and 1600s. All gone, everything. Landmarks are gone," Jonie Keator said, a Hawaii native.

The fire, one of three, sparked on Tuesday and quickly spread across the island with the help of winds from Hurricane Dora. 

Keator is now living in Arizona. 

MORE: Maui wildfires: People in Hawaii jump into ocean to escape; historic Lahaina town burning

"I got ahold of family there on the other side of the island because they have a connection, versus Lahaina, which they don't have now. So we talked, and she said, ‘I don't know where my mom is,’" Keator said.

Fast-moving flames forced residents and tourists to scramble to safety, including Jonie's family.

"They said cell service was down, power, really kind of no food really, and 911 in Lahaina is down, it's just like a war zone," Keator said.

She hasn't been able to get in contact with her mom who lives in Lahaina.

"My niece, I just talked to her and I said, ‘Do you see any sign of her house?’ and she said, "You know what, I'm being evacuated right now out of Lahaina.' She said, 'I can't see nothing.' So she can imagine it's done it's toasted," Keator said.

The death toll is now at six. Fourteen people were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after jumping into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames. 

As for Jonie's mother, it's unclear if she was able to evacuate.

"You just want to hear ‘I’m OK,' but I can't even get that," she said. "I can't even get that."

'Everything is gone and I feel sad’

Another Hawaiian in Phoenix shares his experience with what's going on.

"Everything is gone, and I feel sad for the people because Lahaina has so much history, and it’s up in smoke," Kevin Sao said.

He was watching in horror as his beloved home of Maui is burning with every second that passes.

"So it’s very painful to watch and it kind of blew me away. My family and friends are still there and can’t get a hold of a few of them … it’s heartbreaking," Sao said.

He moved to Arizona in 2009 and started a business 12 years ago, bringing a piece of Hawaii to the desert.

Many of his friends and family live in Maui, and he's had a hard time reaching them.

"One of them, he called me back, and he said there’s fires everywhere," he said.

Meanwhile, tourists at Sky Harbor traveling to Hawaii decided to skip the trip altogether.

"We are canceling, we are not going to Maui after all. We are devastated but not as devastating as what they are dealing with," a traveler said.

This story was reported on from Phoenix.