Honolulu police officer, family copes with loss of home

Honolulu police officer, family copes with loss of home
Elyssa Reyes
Elyssa Reyes

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - Devastated and dismayed. That's how an Ewa Beach family describes their feelings after seeing the charred remains of their home on Friday.

Nine people lived there, including the owner, a Honolulu police officer. Fire investigators still don't know what caused the blaze. It started around 7:00 PM Thursday.

No one was hurt, but the family's home is destroyed. Six people were home when the fire started. One of them noticed smoke coming from the garage.

They tried to put it out with a hose, but it was too late.

It took around 35 firefighters to put out this two-alarm fire at a Corte Bella townhouse. Years of memories gone in a matter of an hour.

Of the nine people living there, six people, including three babies were home. Some were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but they were treated and released.

The family's four dogs and four turtles, who were all inside survived, but not their Jackson's chameleon.

"I'm just happy that everybody got out okay, when I seen my niece I was holding her and I was crying, just happy that they're all safe," Victim Elyssa Reyes said.

Reyes was at work when she heard about the fire.

"One of my friends called my job and she told me that my house was on fire and I thought she was joking, so I was joking around with her, until I rushed home and then I seen the fire," she said.

A neighbor, who didn't want to talk on camera, says he saw it all happen right across the street at his brother's home. He says crowds from all over watched the firefighters fight the flames, as it rose up to the second floor of this three-bedroom home.

On Friday, fire investigators continued their investigation. The family also gathered outside, still shocked by what happened.

"It just hurts, that's like everything right there, our house, all our memories, it just hurts," Reyes said.

The Red Cross is helping the family out. Fire officials estimate the damage at around $400,000.

A neighbor's home and car suffered $1,000 in damages.

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