Flames and smoke from an apartment fire in Punchbowl are caused damage to multiple units in Victoria Towers.

The Building, which came up in the 70’s did not have sprinklers. No injuries were reported directly related to the fire, but one person was taken to the hospital for what may have been emotional reasons according to Honolulu Fire Department Captain Scot Seguirant.

The fire started in unit 604 on the third floor of the Victoria Towers, but quickly spread. 

Keith Whitney lives in the apartments across the street. He said he was doing laundry when he smelled smoke. He walked outside to check it out.

“It just was flames everywhere. It got real big, and as you can see, it must have got three or four floors over there. So it was pretty bad…even after the fire trucks arrived, the flames just kept coming,” Whitney explained.

Flamable liquid could even be seen dripping fire from the balcony.

Seguirant said they believe that was from a gas can left on the balcony.

Fire fighters got the call at 10:01 a.m., and the fire was extinguished at 10:46 a.m.

Amy Monthie lives just two units away from the fire. “We were sitting in our living room just having morning coffee and all of a sudden I’m like, oh my gosh, do you smell that?” Monthie said.

They opened their front door and looked down the hallway.

“We could see smoke billowing out of the apartment so we knew that it was pretty serious so we had to get out… It was very scary! We just we grabbed our dog and ran out the front door,” Monthie explained.

She’s happy they made it out safely, but is unsure if her apartment was damaged by the blaze.

The building was constructed in 1974. 

Seguirant confirmed that the building did not have fire sprinklers and sprinklers are critical in containing the blaze.

“The sprinkler system will maintain (the fire), it will control it in that unit, and it won’t spread to other units. When you talk about living in a community that’s in a high rise, you really are reliant upon your neighbors not making mistakes, living smart fire-wise.”

Seguirant said the new City ordinance allows apartment and home owners to bypass any safety evaluation and directly install fire sprinklers.

“It’s going to affect everyone else. We see the magnitude of damage when we had the Marco Polo fire, and that’s why we are persistent for the need for sprinklers throughout high rises and even in individual homes…There should be a level of safety that should be a standard and should be expected for everyone’s safety,” Seguirant said. 

The people who live in unit 604 were not home at the time of the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.