Fire destroys Palolo Valley home

Fire destroys Palolo Valley home

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

PALOLO VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Palolo Valley family's home, cherished for generations, went up in flames Wednesday evening.

By the time firefighters arrived, part of the house already collapsed. Crews put the fire out fast.

Flames were under control within 20 minutes.

But in the middle of the battle, there was some confusion.

The flames were quick to destroy the single-family home on Ahe Place, near Anuenue School.

How it started is a mystery.

Investigators say the one person who lives there wasn't home at the time.

It didn't take long for firefighters to get it under control.

The problem was finding it.

The location of the house is so tricky, one neighbor says he had to help direct the fire trucks.

"They were trying to figure out what street to go down. Apparently they were confused. They had to come into the lane or they had to go up the street and figure out how to get to the house," said Patrick Lopez, a neighbor.

"It's tucked away and we approached it from three different directions actually. And that involved going over some fences," said Capt. Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.

The property belongs to the Keliipuleole family

Those who grew up in the house say the land has been in their family for nearly 100 years, and the house that burned dates back to 1974.

"My great great grandfather first owned it, then gave it to my grandmother, which was his daughter, then my grandmother gave it to my father," said Holly Carvalho, who grew up in the house.

"It just meant a lot. So many memories, it's tragic," said Brandon Carvalho, Holly's son.

"A lot of memories, and it just goes from generation to generation," said Shelly Keliipuleole-Sukana, Holly's sister.

It took more than 30 firefighters to try and save the home.

But much was lost.

And though there wasn't much left to see in the aftermath, members of the Keliipuleole family stayed behind the yellow tape, refusing to leave until they saw it one last time.

"I kind of want to have closure. I'm going to be sad but at least I can kind of say goodbye," said Carvalho.

Seelig said the damage is estimated at $250,000.

Investigators could know what caused the fire by Thursday.

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