MAILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A family of four is homeless after a fire damaged their Waianae area duplex in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve.
The two-alarm blaze at 87-108 Kaukamana Road in Maili was first reported a few minutes before midnight. It took only 20 minute for firefighters to bring the flames under control, but by that time, the home was destroyed. The four residents were identified as a 31 year-old man, a 29 year-old woman, and two young children.
Next door, Mona Luke had just returned home from work and was in her bedroom when her brother alerted her about the fire. "When we got out of the house, we looked, and this whole house was like one big ball of fire," Luke said.
Luke also said her family tried at first to use their garden hoses to put out the flames, but then turned the water to protect their own house.
"The fire was so hot, it felt like we were on fire, too. We were trying to save our house at the same time, because we didn't want to be homeless for Christmas," said Luke.
The flame were hot enough to melt part of a car in the driveway, and made the paint on Luke's house bubble and boil.
Luke and her mother said the next door neighbors had just moved in less than two months ago. According to Luke, the electricity to the home was shut off a few weeks ago. "They were using candles because they never have electricity," said Luke.
Fire investigators said the blaze caused an estimated $250,000 damage to the structure and another $20,000 to its contents. Investigators also concluded that the cause was "undetermined," meaning that there wasn't enough evidence to point to a single cause or eliminate other probable causes.
The Red Cross is assisting the family.