Fire burns garbage in Campbell warehouse

Warehouse fire in Campbell.
Warehouse fire in Campbell.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Firefighters continue to battle a large trash and warehouse fire at Hawaiian Waste Systems at 91236 Oihana St. in Campbell Industrial Park.

Hawaiian Waste Systems is the company that was supposed to ship city trash to Washington state but ended up storing tons of plastic trash bundles at its warehouse site when it couldn't get the necessary permits.

The fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. About 40 firefighters in five engines, two ladders and two tankers battled the flames. Three companies remain at the scene.

Fire department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said about three-quarters of the warehouse was in flames when firefighters arrived on scene.

Firefighters set up what Seelig called "defensive operations" and began shooting water on the flames from outside the warehouse.

Seelig said there may be signs that the structural integrity of the building is compromised by the fire and crews will not go inside the building because of the possibility it might collapse.

By about 4 a.m., firefighters brought the fire under control, Seelig said.

"It's still not extinguished," he said. "There's still a pile of trash that's in the warehouse that we have to extinguish."

If the building is safe to enter, heavy equipment will be brought in to pull apart a mound of trash still smoldering in the warehouse, Seelig said.

If there's a danger of building collapse, then firefighters will continue to try and extinguish the fire from the outside, which will take much more time, he said.

There was about 20,000 tons of garbage stored at the facility in September. The garbage is being trucked to the HPOWER plant to be burned for energy. As of last month, a little more than half the trash had been sent to the HPOWER plant.

Most of the plastic wrapped bales of trash are stored outside of the warehouse. Seelig said a large pile of loose trash appears to have caught fire in the warehouse.