Waialua arson leaves 5 homeless
About 30 firefighters bring the fire under control in 20 minutes
Five people living in a farm shed in Waialua are without a permanent home after it was destroyed in an intentionally set fire yesterday.
The fire, on Kaamooloa Road, was called in at 6:55 a.m.
About 30 firefighters had the fire under control by 7:12 a.m., said acting fire spokesman Battalion Chief Jerry Spencer.
Spencer said the residents, three men and two women, were living in the storage shack on the farm.
"The shack was completely destroyed," said Spencer, who added that damage was estimated at about $20,000.
No one was injured in the fire and the investigation has been turned over to Honolulu police.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to the fire as well, providing the residents with food, clothing and hotel accommodations.
"Typically, we make sure their basic needs are met right away," said Maria Lutz, Red Cross director of disaster services.
She said caseworkers will be providing emotional support and referrals for assistance with the recovery over the next few weeks.
The residents, who are unrelated, were renting the shack, Lutz said.
In a news release yesterday, the Red Cross reminded residents to install smoke alarms and to keep fire extinguishers or a sprinkler system handy.