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Police / Fire


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POSTED: Sunday, June 14, 2009

Woman escapes apartment fire

A woman living at Lanihuli Elderly Apartments in Kailua escaped a fire in her apartment yesterday after resting an ironing board against her stove and leaving the unit to get something from her car.

The ironing board turned on one of the burners, which ignited some clothing on the board about 8:15 a.m., said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha. By the time the woman, in her 70s, tried to return to her second-floor unit, the smoke had activated the emergency system and the elevators were stranded on the first floor, he said.

The apartment complex at 25 Aulike St. is just down the road from the Kailua Fire Station and the first fire crew was there within minutes and able to put out the fire with hand extinguishers, Kealoha said. “;It was a very small fire, probably just in the early stages,”; he said.

Damage was estimated at about $2,000, he said.

An effort was made to evacuate residents of the four-story independent living facility, but Kealoha said the woman told firemen that when the alarms go off, most residents don't leave. He said he hoped “;this will get them in tune”; in case a more serious incident occurs.

Man surrenders in shooting case

A 40-year-old man sought by police in an attempted murder case turned himself in to the Kapolei police station about 11 p.m. Friday.

Eugene M. Tupuola, known as “;Monte,”; allegedly fired a gunshot through a window after he and his estranged wife argued at a party June 4 in West Oahu, according to police.

Fire caused $160,000 in damage

A charred couch, straw mat, water cooler and a few pairs of children's shoes were among the only reminders of a fire Friday night that gutted a second-floor apartment at 94-305 Pupuole Street in Waipahu.

The fire caused about $160,000 in damage, said fire department spokesman Capt. Earle Kealoha. A unit on the third floor suffered slight smoke damage.

The fire began about 8 p.m. Friday night, but was put under control about 30 minutes later.

The American Red Cross is helping 12 people ranging in age from nine months to 58 years old who lived in the apartment.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Would-be safe burglars get only food

KAILUA-KONA» Failed burglars made off with little more than soda and ice cream when they couldn't lug a shop's cumbersome safe through a lava field.

The thieves cut Swing Zone's power and phone lines, disabled the store's alarm system and broke the activity center's safe off its cement platform.

But all they got away with was five cases of soda, eight gallons of ice cream, four cases of Spam and $8 in cash during the April 29 burglary.

Swing Zone general manager Nita Chatfield said police didn't take the crime seriously, so she and her boyfriend staked out the lava field with baseball bats and pepper spray.

When three people showed up the next night, the couple forced them to the ground and called police to arrest an 18-year-old and two 19-year-old suspects.