HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday released the identity of the 91-year-old patient who died in an ambulance fire last week in Kailua. He’s been identified as Fred Kaneshiro of Waimanalo. The cause of death has not been announced at this time.
The fire on Aug. 24 also critically injured Jeff Wilkinson, a paramedic who has been working for Emergency Medical Services for over 10 years.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
According to EMS, its crew was transporting Kaneshiro to Adventist Castle Medical Center around 8 p.m. As the ambulance pulled up to the hospital, a fire broke out in the back. The EMT who was driving then jumped out to help the patient and the paramedic.
EMS officials said they have never seen anything like it and are looking at all options as to what may have caused the explosion. Among them are oxygen tanks that are regularly used for many situations.
The Honolulu Fire Department is in charge of the investigation, but EMS said the City has reached out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.
“We’re making all records available to these agencies because I want answers,” said Dr. Jim Ireland, Honolulu EMS Director. “We want answers because we want to know what happened and we want to make sure this never happens again.”
Watch the news conference below:
Officials have a highly complex investigation ahead of them.
“I think there’s valuable learning in an incident like this that we will be able to use going forward, working as part of our safety culture in preventing future incidences if possible,” said Speedy Bailey, AMR Regional Director Hawaii.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.