Kalihi residents frustrated after fire ravages abandoned house

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kalihi residents who live near an abandoned home that went up in flames are fearful and frustrated.

They say their complaints have been ignored since squatters took over the property, so they turned to Action Line for help.

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Neighbors say they have been worried that something bad might happen there for years. After a fire on Sunday, May 30, they are even more afraid and want something done as soon as possible.

“I fear fire when I wake up in the morning. I fear fire at night when we go to bed because, what if it goes on fire again?” said CJ Domingo.

Domingo lives next to the abandoned house on Pohaku Street. She says it was bad enough when squatters were breaking into the home and staying there, but thieves were also ransacking the place to steal belongings.

“I also see this truck that would come and make-believe that the truck is broken. But they’ll be going to the house and taking whatever they need,” said Domingo.

She called the police, City and State agencies and got no response. The fire that engulfed the house was the last straw. She says her home was minutes away from catching fire.

“I’m really nervous, I don’t know what to do. I’ve called the authorities, I’ve called many people but they keep telling me I have to talk to the owners. But the owners are already deceased,” she said.

Domingo says the couple who owned the property died three years ago. They did not have children but had a relative on Maui. She learned that there was a reverse mortgage on the property.

KHON2 reached out to the attorney for the mortgage company and he did not want to comment. Records show that foreclosure proceedings are underway.

A spokesman for the Department of Planning and Permitting sent a statement saying, “The Department… has no record of complaints or violations at this address… Because of your inquiry, we plan to send an inspector to the property to investigate.”

The City could not say when that inspector will be sent. Domingo, now at her wit’s end, can only hope it happens soon.

“It’s really is frustrating. I wish they can do something about this problem, not for me but for everybody in this community,” she said.

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