Downed power line sparks fire, injures firefighter

Kamaki Worthington - Injured firefighter
Kamaki Worthington - Injured firefighter
Pea sized hail
Pea sized hail

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HALEIWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu firefighter suffered an electrical shock while battling a blaze that destroyed a garage and several vehicles at a home outside Haleiwa Friday morning.

The fire department responded to a report of a fire at the base of a utility pole on Pohaku Loa Way at about 8 a.m. When firefighters arrived they found a live power line on the ground and some brush burning near that line. About 15 minutes later a homeowner reporter a fire in her garage.

"While fighting that fire, controlling that fire, a firefighter was injured by electricity, so we not sure of the exact circumstances that caused the injury. The firefighter has been transferred in stable condition to a hospital," said fire Captain Terry Seelig.

Hawaii News Now has learned the injured firefighter is 40 year old Manavaroa Kamaki Worthington, a ten year veteran of the department who works out of the Sunset Beach station.

"We'll do a full investigation into the circumstances as to what happened so that we can use this as a safety improvement," Seelig added.

The fire gutted the garage and demolished an SUV, a van, and a couple motorcycles in the garage. Damage is estimated at $210,000.

It is possible a lightning strike hit the utility pole knocking the wire to the ground. The National Weather Service reports 13,175 lightning strikes around the state between 9 pm Thursday and 9 am Friday. That number includes all cloud to surface strikes that hit land and ocean in an area that extends as far as 40 miles to sea.

The City and County of Honolulu closed municipal golf courses to safeguard against golfers being hit by lightning.

Here's a little more about that injured firefighter. Manavaroa Worthington, known to his many friends as Kamaki, is also a well-known waterman and professional standup surfer. We're told he stepped into a puddle of water that was electrified with 7000 volts of electricity. The jolt literally blasted him out of his firefighter boots up to the ceiling. His boots literally melted. A friend says he's recovering in good spirits tonight.

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