Fire destroys Makiki home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fire destroys Makiki home

Richard Tanuvasa Richard Tanuvasa

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As flames raced through a two-story house on the corner of Victoria and Green streets, Richard Tanuvasa was awakened by a neighbor screaming and ringing his doorbell.

"At first I thought she said my car was on fire but she was saying the couch was on fire," he said.

Tanuvasa opened his bedroom door to find his living room burning.

"The black smoke was hovering. I'm six-two and i was breathing it in. I'm coughing mucus right now and it's black," he said.

Tanuvasa woke up his family and rushed them outside.

All nine people who live in the home at 1430 Victoria St. made it out safely.

"The hairs on my arm burned. When I got out I tried to hose it down with a garden hose," Tanuvasa said.

It took firefighters about thirty minutes to control the blaze and another thirty to put it out.

The downstairs of the home is made out of concrete masonry so the walls withstood the flames. But the roof of the carport collapsed and the interior of the home was gutted.

"We lost a lot. We keep a lot of things in that little apartment," Tanuvasa said.

The Tanuvasa's have four young children and they provide foster care for an adult.

The Red Cross is helping the family and the two tenants upstairs who have been displaced.

"What Red Cross does is provide temporary shelter, generally one to three days, in a hotel. And we can also provide funds for them to replace clothing and food stuffs," Red Cross volunteer Jack Bohman said.

"I really don't know what's next for us," Tanuvasa said.

The fire did an estimated $225,000 damage to the house and its contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly