JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Federal firefighters doused what remained of a warehouse after a fire yesterday on the Navy Marine Golf Course near Honolulu Airport.
Feds probe big blaze at Navy golf course
Fire destroys golf-course building
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Federal fire investigators are returning today to the scene of a smoky three-alarm fire, visible for miles, that destroyed a warehouse on the Navy Marine Golf Course near Honolulu Airport yesterday afternoon.
Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Robert Main said firefighters went house to house in the Catlin Park area asking residents to leave because winds were pushing smoke into residential areas.
But all the smoke and flames had a minimal impact on golfers.
Golfer Colette Mukai said she thought a plane had crashed, but still kept playing.
"We paid our $44," Mukai said. "I was like, 'Golf, golf, golf.'"
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A smoky three-alarm fire destroyed a maintenance warehouse on the Navy Marine Golf Course near the Honolulu Airport yesterday, prompting evacuations of nearby residents in military housing.
But golfers continued to play through.
The fire, near Catlin Drive and Nimitz Highway, sent dark black smoke billowing high into the sky and was visible for miles.
"It looked like a massive fire," said resident Rex Parmelee, who lives about 150 yards from the warehouse. He said he watched firefighters spray down houses nearby as black smoke rose a "couple hundred feet in the air."
"It was so black, you could just see the white ash coming through the neighborhood," he said.
Kahea Spencer, federal firefighters spokeswoman, said the fire started at 12:27 p.m. in the building at the south end of the golf course. Seven federal fire companies along with the Honolulu Fire Department contained it to the 7,500-square-foot building.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Federal firefighters worked on what remained of a warehouse destroyed by a fire yesterday on the Navy Marine Golf Course near Honolulu Airport. Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Robert Main said the fire started about 12:27 p.m. and was reported under control by 1:15 p.m. About 55 Honolulu firefighters in 12 companies assisted federal firefighters.
She didn't have details on what was inside the warehouse, which was made of corrugated metal.
About 55 Honolulu firefighters in 12 companies were dispatched to the fire to help, said HFD Capt. Robert Main.
One Honolulu fire captain was treated for dehydration, he said. No one else was injured.
Main said the fire was under control by 1:15 p.m. Firefighters began a voluntary evacuation when winds changed direction and began blowing smoke into the Catlin Park neighborhood.
A hazardous-material crew tested the air but didn't find any chemicals, he said.
Spencer said the fire was extinguished at about 4:15 p.m.
Federal fire investigators were trying to determine the fire's cause and a damage estimate last night, she said.
On the Navy Marine Golf Course, golfers continued with their game as the course marshal warned them that they were playing at their own risk.
That didn't discourage Colette Mukai, who was golfing with a group of 16.
"I was like, 'Golf, golf, golf,'" she said.
"She's more gutsy," said her friend Aaron Takeshiro, who was thinking of leaving the course after seeing the size of the fire 300 yards away. He heard about six explosions.
"We definitely kept an eye on that," he said. "The ashes and stuff was falling on the course. It was like pieces of roof."
After firefighters contained the fire, the smoke lingered closer to the ground, making it hard to breathe.
It was like a war zone, Takeshiro said.
Other golfers were held up for several minutes before teeing off.
Roy Kimura of Kalihi said the only effect the fire had on his game was that management asked him to wait about a half-hour before teeing off for the back nine.
"I play bad anyway," he said. "It's just the waiting."
He added: "It was kind of exciting, I guess - all the smoke billowing up and hearing explosions."