Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Fire Crawling On Cement In Maui -- It's Ohio In 2022

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Fire Crawling On Cement In Maui -- It's Ohio In 2022 Not Hawaii

Does a video show fire crawling on cement in Maui during the wildfires of August 2023? No, that's not true: The video appeared online more than a year before the Maui fires. It shows a fire in Cleveland, Ohio, in June 2022 that was reported on local news, footage that was posted on YouTube at the time.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on August 13, 2023 under the title, "Fire crawling on cement in Maui." It opened with footage of a fire burning on a sidewalk and a voice saying:

What? Doug, get out of there!

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-08-17 at 11.00.59.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Aug 17 17:09:11 2023 UTC)

The video is not from the fire that ripped through Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii on August 8, 2023. The footage is from a fire in Cleveland, Ohio, that occurred on June 18, 2022. The video posted on Facebook was originally posted and deleted on the TikTok account @teerex554_05 but it was posted on other social media accounts.

Fox 8 News in Cleveland reported on the fire with an article titled, "'Disaster movie vibe': Witnesses recall fire in the Flats sparked by cigarette," that included a video with the footage from the video posted on Facebook. An "entire section of the East Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland was burning," the report noted, with the Cleveland fire investigators saying it was sparked by a discarded cigarette.

A video posted on YouTube on June 18, 2023, titled, "The Flats On Fire In Cleveland, Ohio (June 18th, 2022)," shows the same footage as the video on Facebook that claimed to be from the 2023 Maui fires.

The Cleveland Fire Department posted a video from the scene from a different angle on their X account, formerly known as Twitter, and stated, "Grass/Mulch Fire last night in the flats. #CLEFIRE Engines 1 & 2 responded. Dramatic footage, but no damage/injuries reported. Likely caused by careless smoking. 1 cigarette + dry mulch + strong winds = this scary scene. Please extinguish cigarettes/cigars & dispose properly."

Lead Stories has debunked multiple stories about the 2023 fire on Maui, including claims the fire was started by a laser from the sky, or a direct energy weapon and that the fire was started to create a crisis that could be solved by AI.

Updates:

  • 2023-08-18T17:50:13Z 2023-08-18T17:50:13Z
    Fixes typo in date of Ohio fire to 2022 in fifth paragraph.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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