HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department responded to a deadly building fire at Uao Place in Aiea on Friday, Jan. 20.

HFD received a 911 call around 11:26 a.m. for a two-alarm fire at Lele Pono Condos, a 77-year-old man and two dogs were found dead under a bed inside the unit.

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Honolulu fire officials arrived to the blaze by 11:31 a.m.

“We proceeded to the 29th floor at 11:43 of the non-sprinklered open-air corridor type of building,” said Capt. Malcom Medrano, HFD public information officer.

The smoke could be seen for miles and those who left Pearlridge Mall had a front-row view.

“Came up from the mall, up there, I can’t help but look up, was like, ‘Oh my God!’ All the smoke from that, I think it was like the 29th floor or something like that,” said Aiea resident Joe Tabisula.

The flames were under control by noon, Capt. Medrano noticed similarities to the 2017 Marco Polo fire.

“These buildings are not required to be sprinklered because they were, they were built before 1975,” Capt. Medrano said.

HFD said there are about 300 buildings like Lele Pono on Oahu, KHON2 spoke to a resident who lives just a couple blocks away.

“It’s an older building, it’s probably built probably in the early 70’s, just like our building, just like Marco Polo,” Kyle Tanaka said. “Tenants in our building thought that our building was on fire, so they were calling our resident manager and everybody was kind of panicking.”

HFD says two other occupants — a husband and wife — were not in the unit at the time of the fire and survived the blaze.

The fire was under control around 11:58 a.m. and fully extinguished at 12:59 p.m., HFD is investigating the cause and said flames were contained to the unit.

(Courtesy: Jayson Hironaka)

“But if there were sprinklers in the building, it would’ve activated prior to our arrival and would’ve extinguished the fire earlier and increasing the survivorship,” Capt. Medrano said.

“Hopefully maybe this will be a sign that, you know, I know they’ve been trying to work towards, you know, getting all of these older buildings equipped with fire sprinklers and things, but you know, it’s expensive,” Tanaka said.

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Cleanup is ongoing for units under the 29th floor due to water dripping down from firefighting efforts. The American Red Cross responded to provide assistance to the two survivors.