President Joe Biden harkened a tale about his house nearly burning down in 2004 when speaking with residents of Lahaina, Hawaii, on Monday, despite the tale being an exaggeration.
Biden mentioned the anecdote to assembled residents of the town in the Lahaina Civic Center, an event reported by The Goshen News. The tragic fires hit Lahaina especially hard, destroying much of the town and leaving at least 114 people dead and 850 missing, according to the BBC.
“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, what it’s like to lose a home,” Biden said. “Years ago, now 15 years ago, I was in Washington, doing Meet The Press, it was a sunny Sunday. And lightning struck at home… to make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat.” (RELATED: Agency Headed By ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ Advocate Delayed Water Supplies That Would Have Fought Hawaii Fires, Letter Says)
Biden was referring to a 2004 incident, in which a lightning strike on his Delaware home started a small fire that was contained to the kitchen, according to a report by The Associated Press from the time. Nobody was injured in that incident.
Biden took a break from his vacation in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, to visit the devastated island. He has drawn criticism for staying silent on the Maui fires for days after they ravaged Lahaina, first speaking about the tragedy on Aug. 10 at the top of his remarks and not again until Aug. 13, when he said that he had “no comment” on the death toll and that he was “looking at” visiting the island.
He is set to depart the island late Monday evening, at which time he will return to the $18 million vacation home he is renting from environmentalist Tom Steyer for a fair market price to conclude his vacation, the second week-long vacation he has taken in August.
The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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