Man dies in Waianae house fire

FHD Captain Terry Seelig
FHD Captain Terry Seelig
Antonio Gijante
Antonio Gijante
Wenceslao Umali
Wenceslao Umali

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A bedridden man died Friday afternoon when fire tore through his family's home on Halona Road in Waianae Valley Friday afternoon.

The Honolulu Fire Department got the call for help at 1:55 p.m. By the time firefighters arrived the two story home at the intersection of Halona Road and Ohemauka Place was engulfed in flames.

"First company went in through the front in the bottom and the fire was throughout the bottom and also on the top. Shortly after they got inside the ceiling collapsed, so they pulled out," said fire captain Terry Seelig.

Firefighters had to battle the blaze from the outside while family members who escaped unharmed looked on in horror.

"The first time we heard an explosion and I look up and I saw big smoke coming out. And then we came out, before we came out, I heard another explosion," said neighbor Antonio Gijante.

When the fire was contained and the relative stability of the structure ensured, firefighters went back in the home.

That is when they found a body in a room on the ground floor.

As of Friday night the medical examiner had not identified the victim, but a family member told Hawaii News Now the man who died was Mario Eder, a man in his 50's.

Neighbors say Eder was bedridden.

"That is very sad. Might be nobody can help him over there. Or might be he stay by himself," said neighbor Wenceslao "Pepe" Umali.

According to the fire department as many as ten members of an extended family lived in the home. The American Red Cross was expected to offer grief counseling and shelter.

A fire investigator began looking into the cause of the fire Friday, but night fell before he could finish, so he will be back Saturday to try to determine what started the fire.

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