Fire rips through Palolo home, 19 residents affected

Local News

Honolulu firefighters were called to a house fire in Palolo on Sunday. The fire broke out at about 10:45 a.m. at a home on Paalea Street.

According to the Honolulu Fire Department, nineteen people live in the two-story home. Officials say the fire started upstairs.

“The nice thing was there were reports of occupants in the structure when we arrived. But the search determined that everybody had exited safely,” said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Rick Maurer.

“I was watching a movie on my computer and at that time, I heard people upstairs yelling out there was a fire. So I went and got the fire extinguisher in our kitchen and started putting out the fire, but the fire was so big, by the time I got up there that the fire extinguisher didn’t really do anything,” said Jody Van Sciver, who lives in the home.

Sciver went outside to grab a hose and began spraying the flames. But he couldn’t contain them.

Meanwhile, a woman who lives on the first floor of the home had just finished doing her laundry and was about to take a shower.

“I just heard a lot of running upstairs and then I went up and one of the girls said, ‘Get everybody out!’ So I knocked on all the doors,” said Diana Ruggle, who lives in the home.

According to EMS, a 36-year-old woman suffered a first-degree burn to the leg, while a 52-year-old woman suffered smoke inhalation. Both were taken to the hospital in serious condition.

As for the home, fire officials say the upstairs is uninhabitable and the downstairs has a lot of water damage.

“The crews did a good job tactically to make sure that the fire didn’t infringe on the next structure. They really did a good job knocking it down right away and keeping it contained to the structure of origin,” said Capt. Maurer.

Damage to the home and its contents are estimated at $250,000. A neighboring home also sustained about $1,000 in damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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