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Roof cave-in drives out dozens


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POSTED: Monday, October 27, 2008
                       
This story has been corrected. See below.

 

The roof of a house in Kalihi collapsed yesterday, forcing about 50 residents out into the street. There were no injuries.

The roof fell over a makeshift addition on the rear of the property that housed cubicles, said Honolulu fire Capt. Robert Main.

Firefighters cordoned off the house at 1732 Gulick Ave. after determining the structure was unsafe and called Hawaiian Electric Co. to cut off the power, Main said.

The call came in at 5:44 p.m., but everyone had gotten out by the time firefighters arrived, he said.

The Red Cross helped residents with emergency needs.

Bernadette K. Yockman, who paid $500 a month to live at the house with her 3-year-old son, was at a neighbor's house when she heard the pinging snap of metal.

“;We watched, and then all of a sudden it let go,”; she said. “;The whole thing just collapsed. I was just shocked.”;

She estimated that as many as 70 people lived in the house. The landlord used metal poles, cardboard, tarps and tires to build additional rooms and then rented them out, she said.

Daniel Cunningham, a Honolulu mayoral candidate during the primaries, said he managed the property for his girlfriend, the owner.

The 20-by-40-foot area whose roof collapsed was going to be used for storage, he said. According to city records, the nearly 6,000-square-foot property is owned by George Jenkins and Loida and Grace Santos.

Cunningham said he rented out rooms to people or let them work for their rent. He could not say how many families or individuals lived at the house.

Main said the Fire Department has recorded a number of violations for the structure in the past. Firefighters said the city's Department of Planning and Permitting will determine the house's stability.



               

     

 

 

CORRECTION

       

Thursday, October 30, 2008

       

» Firefighters received the report of a collapsed roof at 1732 Gulick Ave. at 5:44 p.m. Sunday. This story originally said the accident occurred at 7:44 p.m.