Makiki apartment residents concerned about fire response time - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Makiki apartment residents concerned about fire response time

Chad Miles Chad Miles
Patrick Day Patrick Day

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A scary ordeal for residents of an apartment building in Makiki.

Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out and damaged several units.

No one was seriously hurt, but residents say firefighters took too long to get there.

The apartment complex is right across the street from a fire station. Yet, they say it took as long as 25 minutes before crews started hosing down the fire.

Flames lit up the early morning sky in Honolulu.

Just after 2 a.m., nine fire trucks, including the one across the street from the Makiki Fire Station, worked on dousing the blaze.

Meanwhile, the commotion woke up many, just like a resident who shot video from a nearby apartment high above.

The corner units on the second and third floors of The Makikian were destroyed. At least five others were damaged as well. It also ruined a Father's Day for two families.

"The guy in the top, he's a single father, his roommate is a single father and they lost everything right in front of our face," Neighbor Chad Miles said.

Miles was sleeping when his mother woke him up.

"Within seconds, it was just overcome with smoke, black smoke just took over and I was trying to find the cat and couldn't keep my eyes open, we just had to get out of there," he said.

Miles says the fire started in this bottom unit and moved up a floor.

"It seems to me and the rest of the people like the top one that got burnt, shouldn't have been burnt, we were all yelling for water, it didn't come and the next thing you know, the top one is burnt," he said.

Patrick Day tried his best to do his part. He used a garden hose to put it out, as they waited for help. Many of his neighbors say it took too long for help to arrive.

"We put up with the sirens on a daily basis and one day we figured it'd be there for us, they weren't able to save the units," Day said.

But Honolulu Fire Department officials say they responded in four minutes.

In a statement, Fire Captain Earle Kealoha says response times for its first arriving companies and for subsequent companies that responded on a second-alarm dispatch arrived within normal expected time-frames according to "best practices" set forth by the department.

"Now on Father's Day there's two guys and their son's and they got nothing," Miles said.

The Red Cross is helping those who were displaced by the blaze. Fire officials still don't know what caused the fire or even the total cost of the damages.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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