Round Top home destroyed by fire - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Round Top home destroyed by fire

Kai Cowell Kai Cowell
Fredy Benigno Fredy Benigno

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Kai Cowell's face tells the story. Each tear for a memory lost. Everything she owned was inside what's left of this house.

"Pictures as always, old pictures. Things can be replaced...," Cowell said.

She had left the house just 10 minutes earlier on a quick trip to the bank.

"My contractor called me and I turned around and my house was burning and I could see the smoke and I started balling," she said.

"The smoke was really thick, so we called 911 and when we called, as we talked flames came out of the roof. It happened so fast," said Fredy Benigno.

Cowell and her husband were renting the house the past year while her own house next door was being renovated. They were just a week away from moving back in, now all her things are gone.

"I've been complaining to the landlord about the electricity in the bedroom, none of it worked and I figured there was a short," Cowell said.

Firefighters haven't determined the exact cause. They did keep it from spreading to any nearby homes despite having to run hose lines about 200 yards from the nearest hydrant. Then up the steep driveway.

"This is a perfect example of what we call a relay operation, we have 2 engines involved from moving water from the hydrant to the fire," HFD Captain Terry Seelig said.

"What now?" "Start from scratch," Cowell said.

The fire caused an estimated $650-thousand in damages and the couple is still missing their three cats. They are hoping they got out and will come back when things calm down.

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