Punchbowl fire leaves 5 homeless


POSTED: Sunday, November 22, 2009

A two-alarm fire on Punchbowl Street yesterday destroyed a single-family home in less than 20 minutes, leaving a family of five homeless and possibly killing three pet dogs.

Firefighters are investigating the cause of the blaze at 1475 Punchbowl St. that began about 5:45 p.m., said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.

By 6:02 p.m., an estimated 40 firefighters had brought the fire under control and extinguished it at 6:45 p.m., Kealoha said.

No one was injured, but a woman who appeared to be in her late 30s or early 40s was hyperventilating and was taken to a hospital, Kealoha said. He said the American Red Cross was helping the family.

Kealoha said it appeared three Chihuahuas did not survive.

Police closed off Punchbowl Street mauka of Vineyard Boulevard and the Vineyard offramp in the H-1 westbound direction while firefighters doused the flames.

Yvonne Hussey, who owns the property and grew up in the house, said the couple who lives there has three daughters between the ages of 6 and 18.

Earlier, Hussey was at the house to have a front security door installed. Later, she received a call that the house was on fire and went back, but could not find the family.

“;I thought, 'Oh, Lord, please don't let anybody be in there,'”; she said. “;I'm just glad that nobody (was hurt).”;