HONOLULU (KHON2) — A two-alarm building fire broke out on Wilder Avenue on Wednesday, December 11, just before 6:30 p.m.
According to the Honolulu Fire Department, 11 units staffed with 43 personnel responded to the Wilder Regent, a residential building at 1111 Wilder Avenue, and found a 20-story condominium with a glow visible through the window on the 15th floor of the building.
“All of a sudden from nothing, the whole corner of the building was fully engulfed in flames,” said Chris Khamis, who lives in an apartment building nearby. “Yellow inferno from the beginning all the way to the end, when the firefighter came in there, and it was out.”
The fire later prompted the closure of Wilder Avenue between Pensacola and Thurston but was later reopened around 8:15 p.m.
Personnel established command, secured a water source and commenced with firefighting operations. Firefighters located the fire in unit 15A.
It was reported that occupants from the unit involved were not home at the time of the fire. One adult male and female were moving into the unit with their minor son.
“I just smelled smoke, and at first I thought it was another building cause we heard some alarm going off in the distance,” said Sam Mitchell who lives one floor above. “Then all of a sudden we saw, hey there’s smoke coming from our building.”
He and other residents evacuated the building through the staircase.
The fire was later extinguished at 6:55 p.m. HFD said that there were no reported injuries.
The building did have a fire alarm system but it did not have fire sprinklers.
“The HFD will continue to advocate for fire sprinklers in buildings. It is the most effective way to protect your property and safeguard lives from a fire,” said HFD.
Fire damages are estimated at $307,000 to the unit of origin and $4,000 to its contents. An additional $230,250 in damages were sustained by the unit above and below the unit of origin. Red Cross is assisting the occupants of the unit of origin.
The fire is currently under investigation and a cause has yet to be determined.