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Makiki high-rise fire
Condominium owners have resisted attempts to require retrofits because of the high cost.
Okino, chairman of the Council's Public Safety Committee, put together a task force last month to come up with ways to encourage condo owners to retrofit their buildings.
"Maybe this might make a difference in the task force," Okino said.
A sprinkler system was in everybody's minds.
"It could've stopped the fire on the floor it started on," Winchester said as he stood on the sidewalk looking up at his blackened apartment.
Firefighters from the Makiki Station were at the Consulate two minutes after receiving the call, Tejada said. "But by that time the fire had already broken through, and there was an intermittent stiff breeze so the fire just picked up. Couldn't stop it," he said.
There were no injuries, but the blaze killed two cats in Unit 701, the source of the fire. The fire destroyed Unit 701, four corner units above and all of their contents. The fire's cause and damage estimate have yet to be determined.
Comforted by neighbors, Winchester's wife wailed in despair as she sat outside the building and watched firefighters assess her charred unit.
Winchester said they lost many valuables, including video images of his grandchildren and his mother-in-law, who recently died.
The fire left many residents shaken.
"I was in shock. I couldn't believe it was happening," said Avis Ing, who owns an apartment directly below Unit 701.
She moved into her unit in October after an extensive renovation.
"I have a beautiful piano, a baby grand," she said, but she did not know if any of her things had survived. Firefighters could not enter her unit because the heat from above had apparently melted her front door shut.
Steven Casano was home with 16-month-old son Luca in Unit 1102 when he smelled smoke. Then he heard yelling from outside. "Someone in the parking lot was yelling at me, or yelling at the building, 'Get out, get out. There's a fire,'" Casano said.
He hurried down the fire escape with his son and cat Keili, which he was able to place into a pet carrier.
Officers Ronald Lopes Sr. and Malcom Lutu carried disabled resident Dorothy Lee out of her third-floor apartment building while she sat in her wooden chair and as smoke filled her apartment.
"They had to carry me out," said Lee, a two-year resident in the building.