High rise fire guts Waikiki apartment

Photo courtesy Cindy Eriksen
Photo courtesy Cindy Eriksen
Courtesy: @dsghi
Courtesy: @dsghi

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The American Red Cross is offering a Waikiki couple assistance after fire gutted their Ala Wai Boulevard apartment late Thursday morning.

Flames and dark smoke were first seen coming from the 8th floor of the Aloha Lani apartment building at about 11:50 am.

The couple that lives in the apartment was not home when the fire started. Firefighters broke in and had the flames under control within half an hour. Damage to the building and its contents is estimated at about $225,000.

The Aloha Lani does not have a sprinkler system. State law does not require residential high rises built before 1974 to have sprinkler systems. The Aloha Lani was built in 1973.

The Honolulu Fire Department would like to see the law changed so those kind of buildings have to be retrofitted with sprinklers.

"It would be a very very useful, practical, and property saving step, but we know that it does cost money and people have to balance that ability to pay for something that would control a fire," said Fire Captain Terry Seelig.

The fire damaged three other apartments.

Traffic in the area around Ala Wai Boulevard and Seaside Avenue was diverted for about three hours.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved