Three escape injury as fire damages Ewa home

Mike Kimseu
Mike Kimseu
Capt. Terry Seelig
Capt. Terry Seelig

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Ewa family escaped a two-alarm fire that ripped through their Wailohia Place home Saturday. The blaze was so fast and furious that flames scorched the house next door and forced a neighbor to break into his own home.

"I got hurt because I got trapped behind my house," said neighbor Mike Kimseu. "I had to break into my house to get out, so I cracked the glass in my house to get out."

Kimseu was trying to stop the fire, which destroyed his neighbor's home and damaged his. His arm was injured from broken glass.

"I couldn't believe it went that fast," Kimseu said." I heard crackling sounds and all of a sudden it got bigger, bigger, and I turned on my hose, and then the whole wall caught on fire and the flames started leaping across and touched my house and that was it, I had to give up."

Four people lived in the residence. Two of them were home when the fire broke out. A grandchild who was visiting all escaped without injury.

The Honolulu Fire Department said by the time crews arrived, 73 percent of the home was already engulfed in flames.

"What else it did, though that it is little bit unusual, is that it damaged, the power connection," said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. That forced Hawaiian Electric Company to cut off power to the street until the badly burned power meter can be fixed.

According to the Honolulu Fire Department, the blaze caused $350,000 damage to the home and $50,000 damage to its contents. The fire also caused an estimated $30,000 damage to Kimseu's home. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire. The Red Cross was assisting the family, which is waiting to find out if the home is a complete loss.

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