Family Escapes Honolulu House Fire


Investigators said an electrical short is what started a fire at a house in Waialae Iki on Sunday.

Those inside barely escaped the flames that caused $350,000 in damage and gave firefighters a challenge in battling the blaze.

Smoke poured from the three-story home on the hillside at Waialae Iki. Homes in the area are large, but tightly spaced. Neighbors were shocked when the flames erupted.

"The first thing we heard was the fire engine coming up here. So, I went out and saw the smoke coming out. When I got out on my porch, the flames were already coming above the rooftop," neighbor Kay Kimura said.

Three people, a husband and wife and their adult daughter, were home at the time, with a dog. All were OK.

It was a two-alarm fire. Seven companies responded.

The fire just seemed to keep burning.

"The problem seems to be the very steep A-frame roof, which is inaccessible seems the firefighters are having problems getting water directly on to that flame," Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig said.

It took more than 40 minutes for the fire to be declared under control.

"So, getting to the fire was difficult. We had to send crews inside to pull the ceiling and try and extinguish and alternate with exterior operations. We don't want our firefighters inside when we use our large water streams outside, which we had to do to keep the fire from extending on the roof," Seelig said.

The fire department said there were smoke detectors, but they are not sure if they went off.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.