Kalama Valley brush fire flares up again

Kalama Valley brush fire flares up again
Robin Bond, Jr.
Robin Bond, Jr.
Andrew Coutts
Andrew Coutts
Kenneth & Cindy Chung
Kenneth & Cindy Chung
Matt Glei & Minna Sugimoto
Matt Glei & Minna Sugimoto

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KALAMA VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's not out yet. The Kalama Valley fire that sent families packing Sunday night, sent them running for their hoses Monday evening.

The East Oahu hot spot flared up just before sunset, once again, coming dangerously close to homes.

The flames burst on Kamehame Ridge, right behind a house.

It only took seconds, and it wasn't the only flare-up. One resident got into a match with a police officer who was trying to tell him to get away from the fire.

"Made the mistake of thinking that I was doing the right thing at the right time despite what the police were saying, and it got a little heated," said Robin Bond, Jr.

Bond was among several neighbors using their garden hoses to douse the flames until firefighters showed up.

"I said, 'Oh my god, here we go again', so I was just trying to wet down the roof as well as my neighbors," said Andrew Coutts, a Kalama Valley resident.

Flames broke out just after 5:30 p.m., threatening a home on Kalina Place. The family inside didn't even see it ignite in their backyard.

"It happened so quickly," said Kenneth Chung, a Kalama Valley resident.

"We were cooking dinner, police knocked on the door and asked us to get out. That's how we found out," said Cindy Chung, Kenneth's wife.

The Chung family says they weren't hurt.

And their home wasn't damaged.

As soon as firefighters arrived, crews put the fire out quickly.

"How long have you folks lived here?"

"3 years," said Chung.

"Have you ever seen anything like this?"

"No, the neighbor has lived here for 30 years, and he's never seen anything like this either," said Chung.

The brush fire started Sunday night, and scorched about 200 acres of land.

Dozens of families were evacuated and spent the night in a Red Cross shelter - or in their cars.

By morning, it was 85% contained.

Sky News Now got a birds eye view of the hillside, with black soot reaching all the way down to the backyards along Kahului street.

Firefighters confirmed that the blaze was started by fireworks.

"One of the neighbors said clearly a rocket went by from somewhere in the middle of the valley. It went by and they heard the boom, boom, and didn't hear the third boom, but heard crackling noises," said Matt Glei, a Kalama Valley resident.

After Monday evening's flare up, residents say going to sleep won't be easy.

"I'm very scared," said Chung.

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