California woman identified as 1st tourist killed in Maui fire

A California woman was the first tourist identified by officials as a victim of the deadly Maui fires.

Theresa Cook, 72, of Pollock Pines, Calif., was staying in a hotel in Lahaina and was scheduled to fly home on August 9, one day after the fire started, according to her daughter. 

Cook was traveling alone in Maui when her hotel in Lahaina was evacuated, according to Sacramento-station KCRA3. She left on foot and was never heard from by family on the day of the fire. 

Her family had been working with the FBI and was told last weekend her remains were recovered from the fire. 

In an interview with KCRA3 in Sacramento, Cook's daughter, Melissa Kornweibel, teared up thinking about her mom's last moments. 

 "I don't blame anybody," she said on Wednesday. "Things happen. Natural disasters happen We're human. We make mistakes. We do the best with the information we're given But she left on foot. When I heard that she had left on foot by herself … I know everyone says to hold out hope but there's a part of you that just knows."


High risks and lack of warnings in Maui lead to deadliest U.S. wildfire this century

Hawaii’s Attorney General will review Maui’s wildfire response following questions over preparedness, the island’s warning systems, and what officials knew about catastrophic fire risk.

Authorities have placed the current death toll at 115.

Officials have identified 43 victims and released the names of about half as of Wednesday. 

The wildfires, which broke out on Aug. 8 in Maui, were Hawaii’s deadliest natural disaster and the deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history.