Hawaiian Mission fire cost expected to rise
The cost of a fire at Hawaiian Mission Elementary and Intermediate School is expected to be higher than early damage estimates, the school's superintendent said yesterday.
Fire officials initially estimated the private school sustained about $60,000 worth of damage in the Sunday fire, which left the ceiling of the main administration building a charred mess.
"I have a feeling it's going to be more than that," said Dolores Trujillo, superintendent of the Hawaii Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which runs the Makiki school and 11 others in Hawaii.
"It looks like we're going to have to replace the ceiling and most of the roof," she said. A final damage estimate is pending a full inspection.
The Honolulu Fire Department believes the fire started in the attic and was due to a form of spontaneous combustion that occurs when wood that has gotten wet dries out, triggering a chemical reaction that produces flame, department spokesman Capt. Kenison Tejada said yesterday.
The ceiling of the school's small auditorium suffered the most damage.
Trujillo said there was little other damage to school property, and the summer school program is unaffected. None of the 130-student school's nine classrooms were damaged, and the school is insured, she said.