HOUSE DESTROYED DURING HEAVY DOWNPOUR
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
The house at 806 Ekoa Place in Aina Haina, shown here yesterday, collapsed during heavy rains Monday night. At right, the carport also collapsed on the car inside. No injuries were reported.
No one is hurt as home collapses
A neighbor says it is "amazing" that the residents escaped
A dilapidated Aina Haina house collapsed during heavy rains Monday night, but no injuries were reported.
The old wooden house at 806 Ekoa Place, apparently termite-ridden and its paint peeling, appeared to fall over on its side with wood splintering everywhere. The carport roof collapsed, trapping the car underneath.
When fire crews arrived, three people were standing outside the home unharmed, a fire official said.
Neighbor Wera Panow-Loui, who lives two doors down, recalled that sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight there was a heavy downpour, then she heard a big crash.
"Boom -- it was over," she said. "Then it was completely silent. It's pretty amazing when you realize what happened."
She thought something piled up at her next-door neighbor's house might have fallen down because of the rain.
"I definitely didn't think it was a house falling," she said. "I looked out and there was nothing."
Ken Loui, Wera's husband, surmised wood rot and termite damage were to blame, along with the rains.
"It's broken in multiple places," Loui said. "It was in pretty dilapidated condition."
Said Panow-Loui: "Nobody got hurt, which is actually amazing when you see the house."
She said the occupant of the house called a relative, and that relative later called 911, which explains why the Fire Department arrived an hour after the crash.
The couple said they used to see a man, possibly in his 70s or 80s, at the house, but had not seen him in a while.
The occupant, a woman in her late 50s or early 60s, told Panow-Loui the home belongs to her stepfather.
Neighbors said the house was at least 47 years old.
The Fire Department contacted Hawaiian Electric Co. and its technicians disconnected power to the collapsed house, HECO spokesman Jose Dizon said.
Panow-Loui said HECO technicians told her that if it hadn't been raining, the downed lines might have sparked a fire.
Dizon said exposed wiring could create a safety and fire hazard.