Dust from a flammable finish blamed for sparking 3-alarm blaze at Manoa home

‘Glowing everywhere’: Former tenant describes huge blaze that tore through Manoa home

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fire investigators have determined a three-alarm blaze that ripped through a Manoa late Wednesday was started accidentally.

Officials said the fire was ignited by the spontaneous combustion of discarded sanding dust from a flammable finish. The dust was being stored in a plastic bag in the home, which was undergoing renovation.

The fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. on Kumukoa Street at a two-story, multi-family home, HFD said.

More than 53 firefighters arrived to find flames coming from the second story, which was reportedly under renovation.

Officials said no one was in the home at the time. However, just two hours before flames erupted, a woman said she had just finished moving out of the downstairs unit.

The woman, Lakota Sorensen, said she lived in the home with her daughter and boyfriend for about a month.

She said she finished cleaning her unit around 7:45 p.m. and settled into her new home nearby.

“And I just wake up, like our house is on fire," she said. "I just see this big glow. There’s a tree blocking, so glowing everywhere. We hear crackling, screaming sirens.”

She said there was nothing left in her old unit to start the fire. She believes it may have started from a cellphone antenna.

The blaze was extinguished by 10:50 p.m.

Fire damage to the home was estimated at more than $841,000.

A viewer photo sent to Hawaii News Now via Instagram shows the heavy smoke and bright flames.
A viewer photo sent to Hawaii News Now via Instagram shows the heavy smoke and bright flames.

Details are developing. This story will be updated.

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