2 escape unhurt when a blaze destroys their Moanalua home


POSTED: Thursday, April 02, 2009

A malfunctioning electrical outlet caused a fire that destroyed a Moanalua home yesterday, displacing four people.

Thirty-five firefighters responded to the fast-moving blaze that occurred at 1660 Onipaa St. at 4:30 a.m.

The fire was under control at 5 a.m. and extinguished an hour later. Damage to the home and its contents was estimated at $500,000.

Two residents, a man and woman, were home at the time of the fire and escaped without injury. Neighbors said the other two residents, described as the homeowners, are currently on a trip in Japan.

The blaze began in the den on the first floor of the two-story home. The first floor was made of concrete, while the second floor was made of wood.

Neighbor Ken Kimi called 911, pounded on his neighbors' door and yelled out their names after he was awakened by loud booms. He also observed smoke billowing from the house. Within five minutes the house was engulfed. “;It just went up pretty quickly,”; said Kimi.

The couple in the home escaped uninjured from the back of the house.

The resident said three generations of his family had lived in the home, located next to a mountain ridge, since it was built about four decades ago.

Kimi and another neighbor used garden hoses to spray down the home as well as their own homes to reduce the spread of the blaze. Kimi also sprayed water on four cars parked in the affected home to help prevent damage.

“;It was a traumatic morning, waking up to something like that,”; he said.

The fire did not spread to nearby homes.

The American Red Cross is assisting the affected residents with living arrangements.

Five years ago another house fire occurred on the same street.

Shortly after 8 a.m. March 29, 2004, a fire occurred at the three-bedroom home at 1739 Onipaa St. A 14-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister escaped unharmed. The boy heard the smoke alarm go off and woke his sister after he heard popping sounds and saw smoke coming from the master bedroom.

Damage was estimated at $180,000. The cause of the fire was undetermined. The house has since been rebuilt.