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Home's destruction in fire shocks Makiki renter


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POSTED: Saturday, April 25, 2009

Eric Hans Schaefer returned home yesterday and found the Makiki Heights house where he rented a room had almost burned to the ground.

“;I didn't watch any news,”; said the 20-year-old student, who spent a couple of nights at a friend's place. “;I was completely shocked.”;

Schaefer was the only one of the eight residents living there who had not been accounted for Thursday.

Honolulu Fire Department investigators will continue on Monday their investigation of the 12:20 a.m. Thursday blaze that killed two tenants. Three people and two dogs escaped the fire at 2069 Mauna Place.

People, including neighbors, left flowers in front of the garage of the charred remains of the house.

Schaefer, who delivers pizzas for a living, said he lost thousands of dollars in clothes and electronics, including a laptop and iTouch (similar to an iPod).

“;I'm glad that I got away with my life,”; he said. “;Each person's life is so much more valuable than my stuff. ... We got to just put our hope in things that are forever.”;

The owner of the house, H.R.H. Fleur, identified the victims as Christy Bartlett and Larry Fair, who rented separate rooms.

The Medical Examiner's Office has yet to identify them.

The case remains classified by police as an unattended death case.

Fleur's son, Gary Hughes, who lives next door, said the home was where he grew up with his four siblings. Hughes said he brought his father, who is in a wheelchair after a stroke, to see the house he bought with his mother in 1970.

When they divorced, Fleur got the house, Hughes said.

His father, whose speech is extremely limited, asked, “;Why, why, why?”; Hughes said.