Police / Fire


POSTED: Sunday, October 18, 2009

Broken elevator motor cited in hospital smoke

Honolulu fire crews averted the evacuation of about 100 patients at Maunalani Hospital above Wilhelmina Rise yesterday morning, using ventilation fans to dissipate heavy smoke.

An elevator motor malfunction at about 2:25 a.m. caused the smoke on the second and third floors of the hospital at 113 Maunalani Circle, Fire Department spokesman Capt. Earle Kealoha said.

No flames were visible but a second alarm was issued as a precaution and four more engines, two ladder companies and a battalion chief responded, Kealoha said.

Firefighters began clearing out the smoke with ventilation fans while waiting for an elevator technician to help them get into the mechanical room to determine the cause of the smoke.

The incident commander called a third alarm and asked for three more engine companies, a rescue company and city emergency medical services in case residents had to be evacuated, Kealoha said.

After an elevator representative arrived, firefighters determined there was no fire, he said.

The third alarm companies were released at about 4:20 a.m. and the rest of the fire units continued to ventilate the second and third floors and evacuation of the residents was called off. Firefighters finished work at the scene and left at about 5:15 a.m., Kealoha said.


Lifeguards issue nearly 400 high surf warnings

Lifeguards rescued two people and warned beachgoers nearly 400 times about the high surf yesterday at Waikiki and Ala Moana beaches as of 2:30 p.m., a city Department of Emergency Services spokesman said.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory yesterday because of the south swell. Sets with wave faces up to 10 feet faces were reported. The advisory continues until 6 p.m. today. Waves with 6- to 8-foot faces are expected, with higher sets.


Two hikers rescued from Waianae trail

In an effort that spanned about six hours, firefighters rescued two hikers Friday who lost their way on a Waianae trail after dark.

Firefighters received a call at about 7 p.m. from two woman who couldn't find their way off a trail at the end of Waianae Valley Road, said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.

The fire department helicopter helped direct a search and rescue team to the women.

Kealoha said firefighters hiked in and reached the women about midnight and led them out of the trail at about 1:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.


Tourist killed by wave was Florida resident

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's office identified yesterday a 78-year-old tourist who died after being hit by a wave on Waikiki Beach as George R. Kleman of Naples, Fla.

Kleman was sitting on shore Friday smoking a cigar about 12:40 p.m. when a wave pushed him backwards and knocked him unconscious, police said. He was pronounced dead at Straub Hospital at 1:25 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.