Wednesday, December 26, 2001

HFD personnel mopped up in the upstairs rooms where the fire started early Christmas Eve.

House fire fails
to destroy pair’s
Christmas Eve party

The Abastas family pushes ahead
despite the second-floor blaze

By Nelson Daranciang

A Waianae couple did not allow a fire to dampen their Christmas spirit.

They went ahead with a Christmas Eve party at their Moelima Street home even after fire damaged the upstairs portion of the house.

Numer and Leonora Abastas were preparing for the party downstairs when they heard glass from an upstairs window shatter at about 5:40 p.m.

"I thought somebody threw a stone," said Numer Abastas. But when he looked outside, he saw smoke pouring from the window.

Leonora Abastas was outside cleaning the barbecue grill when she heard the window explode. She said the falling glass nearly hit her on the head.

Numer said he ran outside to shut off the electricity then tried to get to the second floor using a stairway outside the house. He was carrying a garden hose to fight the fire but was turned back by the smoke.

The Abastas family, above left, set up headquarters in their garage as fire officials checked out the premises.

Firefighters arrived at the home at 86-923 Moelima St. within minutes, the couple said, and had the fire out with a blast from the water hose.

The Abastases then went ahead with their Christmas Eve party, which they were throwing for family, friends and neighbors.

"They were coming already. There was plenty food," Numer said.

Damage from the fire was limited to the second floor, but there was water damage on the first floor as well. And they were not given the okay to turn on the electricity. So the Abastases moved the party to the street in front of their home.

Power from a generator and extension cords from their neighbor's house supplied electricity for the lighting.

The American Red Cross offered to provide the Abastases overnight lodging.

They said they decided to stay in their home to prevent looting.

Fire officials said the fire caused $60,000 damage to the home. The cause is under investigation.

The couple said their 23-year-old son lived in one of the two second-floor bedrooms. He was not home at the time.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin