EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Ewa Beach woman is in critical condition in the burn unit at Straub Hospital after flames tore through her home early Sunday morning. Neighbors grabbed garden hoses and kicked in the woman's door in an effort to rescue her.
Judith Domingo, 70, is described as a petite, but strong, woman. Her son lives with her, but was at work when the fire broke out.
Patrick Domingo met with fire officials after a blaze at the Pohakupuna Road home he shares with his elderly mother.
"I seen flames coming out my neighbor's house," Cathy Griep, neighbor, said.
"I freaked out," Stacey Horiuchi, neighbor, said. "I freaked out 'cause, I mean, I watched the whole thing."
Horiuchi's dog alerted her to the fire, which broke out at about 12:50 AM. She and others quickly jumped into action, shooting water at the flames while trying to get into the house to save Judith Domingo.
"My brother heard me screaming," Griep said. "He ran to go over and try wake her up. In a split second, I guess, he just ran for the water hose."
"We couldn't get in 'cause it was so toxic," Horiuchi said. "It was just too smoky and too fumy. In my opinion, it took the fire station kind of long to get here since they're right up the street."
Fire officials say their crews were at the scene less than six minutes after the call was received by dispatch. After extinguishing the flames, they discovered Judith Domingo in one of the bedrooms.
Her 45-year-old son saw the commotion when he returned from work.
"All the neighbors all waiting see if she was alive or not," Patrick Domingo said. "Oh man."
"She was moving," Horiuchi said. "My husband said he saw her breathe on her own a couple of times. They just put the burn cover on her and took her away."
Patrick Domingo says his mother remains in critical condition.
"Still the same, burn," he said. "They put cream. They put the band aids around her. Her face all burnt."
But he's grateful for his neighbors' heroic actions.
"Thanks for them," he said. "If they didn't care, my mom would be dead already."
Patrick Domingo is staying with a neighbor.
The cause of the fire, which left an estimated $40,000 in damages, is still under investigation.