Moanalua Valley home destroyed by fire - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Moanalua Valley home destroyed by fire

Gordon Leong Gordon Leong
Jean Leong Jean Leong

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MOANALUA VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - A big fire in Moanalua Valley destroyed a home Wednesday afternoon and left nearly two dozen other homes without electricity.

Wednesday night, some of those families were still in the dark.

As of 10 p.m., HECO said nine homes still didn't have electricity. Crews were in the neighborhood working all night to restore power.

In the evening, the couple whose house burned down came back to try and salvage what's left of their things.

An old photo is just a few of the belongings the Leong's have managed to salvage, after a fire destroyed the couple's home. The little girl in it, is Mrs. Leong - that's how deep her roots are at Ala Hoku Place.

She wasn't home at the time of the fire. Her husband called her to break the news.

"It's kind of unbelievable. He's always joking, so my neighbor had to come on the phone to tell me, 'Jean, your house is gone'," said Jean Leong, the homeowner.

"It's not a good feeling. It's an awful feeling," said her husband, Gordon Leong.

Leong was watering the backyard when the fire broke out, saying he heard some crackling.

"I didn't pay attention to it. Then I heard it got loud and loud and loud and then I look and the house is on fire," he said.

The fire broke out around 2:43 p.m. It was so intense, it spread and burned down the top floor of the house next door. It even threatened homes along the street behind the home.

 

"I live right under the house so my dad was on the roof, trying to shoot down our house, keep it from catching on fire and our house was real hot," said Devon Kawata, a neighbor.

It took firefighters more than three hours to extinguish the fire. Putting out smoldering parts in a house that's collapsed made the battle tricky.

"So to get in there, in and among the structure to pull the parts of it down is quite risky," said Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department.

Investigators say it could take days to find out what started the fire, one that has Mrs.Leong without the place she's called home since childhood.

No one was seriously hurt in the fire.

Paramedics did treat a preteen boy at the scene, who had problems breathing from all the smoke. He lives behind the home that burned down. But he was released, and did not need hospital care.


Photo source: T. Yee

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