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Alert electrician saves home


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POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2009

Electrician Marcos Hernandez arrived at a Lanikai job in the nick of time yesterday.

He came to check on an electrical problem, and as soon as he arrived, he spotted a fire just starting above the front door at 1211 Mokulua Drive. He called 911 and used a small fire extinguisher on the flames.

“;He saved that house,”; said Kailua fire Capt. Raul Fallau. “;If he hadn't gotten there when he did, the house would have gone up in a flash.”; Firefighters had the fire extinguished at 12:44 p.m., 14 minutes after the electrician reported it.

For homeowner Wanda Miura, it was the second chapter of a bad week. Her car was damaged Tuesday night when a Norfolk Island pine tree fell over, taking down a utility pole and wires that landed on a vehicle in her yard.

Miura reported that her house lights started flickering after the mishap, which was apparently caused by gusty winds. Her insurance company contacted Kokame Electrical Service to check the cause.

Miura was not home when the fire broke out, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig. He said she was on an errand to get her photographs of the damaged car processed.

The damage to the home was estimated at $15,000 and involved charring to the eaves and roof of the 1950s vintage wooden house.

“;It was good fortune that he arrived when he did,”; Seelig said.

“;It's important to pay attention to flickering lights or an unusual smell, any warning that alerts you to possible electrical trouble,”; said the Fire Department spokesman.