Kaneohe fire damages two homes

Ron Jacobs, in black shirt
Ron Jacobs, in black shirt
Capt. Terry Seelig, HFD
Capt. Terry Seelig, HFD

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fire that damaged two Kaneohe homes on Friday. Ron Jacobs, 72, suffered minor burns while trying to escape from the flames. The blaze began at his neighbor's home on Anoi Road around 6:45 in the morning.

"I heard screaming, 'Get out Ron,' and I ran out and figured I better go back and put on my pants," said Jacobs. "So I came back outside and by then it was so hot it burned my hand."

The flames damaged Jacob's house and destroyed the one next door. The family that lives there wasn't at home when the fire started.

"There's a family of two terrific people and their two boys. They left about eight minutes before anyone noticed," said Jacobs. "It was wood so it was crackling pretty good."

Neighbors said they heard what sounded like an explosion.

"House fires will often have loud noises that people will think is an explosion. We'll look into whether there were any explosions or if it was just a fire with usual contents," said Capt. Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.

Those who live in the neighborhood are stunned.

"Horrifically bad. This is the first time in the history of up here something like this has happened," said property manager Audrey Choi.

"I was scared beyond words," Jacobs said.

Jacobs is a radio broadcaster and author. He said he has covered emergencies before, but it's a different story when it hits close to home.

"It's really different when it happens to you," said Jacobs. "When you see a house burning down, and people crying and holding their babies, you thank the Honolulu Fire Department."

The total damage estimate is $600,000.

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