Wet weather chills danger of fireworks
Wet and windy weather cooled New Year's celebrations, meaning less work than usual for Honolulu's firefighters.
Of the 90 calls for fire incidents from Sunday through New Year's morning, 57 might have been caused by fireworks, fire officials said yesterday. It's a drop from 127 fire calls, and 61 fireworks-related calls for the same period a year ago.
Heavy rains kept firefighters busy on the Windward side, but dampened Oahu just enough to prevent fires from being stoked further, fire officials said.
"That probably suppressed a lot of the potential fire spread," said fire spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. "We were much busier last year."
The most significant fire killed two house cats in a Waikele garage on Kipepa Street. Fireworks stored in a garage went off and caused significant flame and smoke damage to its contents, which included six cats, a Corvette and a motorcycle, Seelig said.
"Four of the cats received treatment from firefighters with oxygen," Seelig said.
There was also a fire at an abandoned barracks at the Barbers Point area on Roosevelt Avenue.
Fireworks permits were down almost 22 percent from last year. There were 8,339 sold as of Saturday, compared with 10,618 through that same time period last year.
Emergency officials responded to four incidents that included fireworks-related injuries.
The victims included a man from Moanalua Road who was transferred to Straub Clinic and Hospital in serious condition after fireworks caused burns to about 20 percent of his body.
Another man, in his 30s, suffered burn injuries in Paakea Road in Waianae just after midnight when a balloon filled with helium exploded next to fireworks. The man was treated at the scene.
From Dec. 30 through Jan. 1:
Total fires: 90
Related to fireworks: 57
Total fires: 127
Related to fireworks: 61
Total fires: 200
Related to fireworks: 83
Source: Honolulu Fire Department