JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nuuanu resident Michael Heafner points out one of three large boulders that came crashing toward his home early yesterday morning. The boulders did not damage property, but cleared foliage and trees, causing a potentially dangerous situation. "Most likely, the bigger one came down and brought the littler ones with it," he said.
Boulder threatens home
Three large rocks are lodged above a Nuuanu residence
Nuuanu resident Michael Heafner will attempt to break up one of three hefty boulders that tumbled down a steep hillside above his home at about midnight Thursday.
The Heafners slept in the living room early yesterday, fearful that one of the boulders might loosen and come crashing into one of the bedrooms, situated at the rear of the home.
The Heafners live in the same area where two large boulders recently crashed down hillsides. On Aug. 9, 2002, Dara Rei Onishi was killed by a 6-ton boulder that crashed into her parents' Henry Street home as she slept.
On May 10, 2004, a 4-foot boulder fell down a mountainside and narrowly missed a Nuuanu woman and crashed into her house on Henry Street.
On Thursday night the three boulders -- the biggest about 4 feet long by 2 1/2 feet wide -- careened down the hillside and became lodged above the two-story house at Kaimuohema Place.
Heafner fears that one might come crashing into one of the bedrooms.
"Most likely the bigger one came down and brought the littler ones with it," he said.
"I don't like the one over there," Heafner said, pointing to a 3-by-2-foot boulder perched about 75 feet above his home on a steep incline. That boulder jumped over a wall and is teetering on a ledge above the house.
Heafner plans to attack the threat with a chipping gun. The other two boulders seem securely lodged behind trees.
Neighbors informed Heafner that the Department of Land and Natural Resources would not send geologists to survey the situation since the property was privately owned. The state will be providing residents along the ridge with the name of the landowner.
Heafner said he was watching TV and had his stereo on, so he did not hear anything until firefighters knocked on his door at about 1 a.m. yesterday. His wife and his two sleeping daughters, 9 and 7, also did not know about the fallen boulders.
His neighbor, who asked not to be named, said she heard a strange noise Thursday that sounded to her like "big, heavy wooden tables tumbling."
She had difficulty sleeping, and her boyfriend is urging her to move from the house where she has lived for 47 years.
A neighbor had called 911 about loud noises coming from the hillside, and firefighters were up there for some time before they arrived at Heafner's house, he said. Firefighters sized up the situation and found there was no damage or injury, a fire official said.