WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu firefighters were busy with two fires at separate tow yards at the same time. The first was in Waipahu, the second was just four miles away in Pearl City.
The lunchtime fire started just before noon and quickly served up thick black smoke into the air.
"I heard a big bang and all the sudden I looked up in the sky and I saw a big billow of smoke," said Tina Quizon, Pathways to Paradise and a witness. "It was really bad. It was high dense billowing and then it got blacker."
"I go outside and we could see from over the building back here just huge clouds of black smoke they had to be more than 150 feet in the air. It was pretty amazing," said Dan Dutra, Sigs Collision Centers, which is located right next door.
The Waipahu fire burned The Tire Shop and Tows R Us yard. Between four and six cars on the property were destroyed along with a carport.
"Evidently the employees were in the process of draining fluids and gasoline from the cars when the fire started," said Capt. Earle Kealoha, Honolulu Fire Department.
Neighbors say this isn't the first fire that's there recently.
"There was an accident over there about four months ago where someone was welding and ignited some kind of a tank and it exploded and caused a fire," said Dutra. "I'm very concerned I would hope the city and officials would take a look at what kind of operation is going on there, if this is appropriate use in this area because although it's zoned industrial we have apartments right across the street and we're concerned about our safety as well as our neighbors."
Just 30 minutes after today's Waipahu fire, the former Stoneridge Recoveries tow yard in Pearl City also caught fire. Firefighters say homeless have been staying there, but don't the exact cause.
No one was hurt in either fire.
While it is unlikely the two fires are connected, fire investigators will be looking into it just in case.