BALTIMORE, Ohio (WCMH) — Even though the Hawaiian island of Maui is thousands of miles away, the devastation caused by the wildfires hits close to home for a central Ohio family.

Archie Spradlin grew up on Maui. He has brought some of the tastes and signs of home to Fairfield County.

“You have a connection when you’re from there, you have a connection with the islands that I really can’t explain,” he said about Hawaii.

Archie and his wife, Gayle, own the Chubby Hawaiian Grill in Baltimore. Even though it’s thousands of miles away, their minds are on Maui, where wildfires have killed at least 36 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings. Some of the worst damage is in the town of Lahaina.

“It is just heartbreaking to see all that beauty gone, and the people that are still searching for their families,” Gayle Spradlin said.

She has been to the island many times since marrying Archie. Where he lived is unaffected by the fires, but he’s spent a lot of time in places that have been.

“When I see that, it’s almost like having another appendage of your body and something happens to it, it still hurts,” he said.

He said his close friends are OK, and some have been helping those forced from their homes.

“Just seeing the devastation of just the entire town, towns and homes and buildings, and history and things that are just gone now, it really gets me choked up,” Archie Spradlin said.

The Spradlins said customers have asked about ways to help, and they ask central Ohioans to pray for those on Maui. Archie said there is a big part of him wanting to get on a plane to Maui and see how he could lend a hand.