Another Oahu house fire destroys Ewa family home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Another Oahu house fire destroys Ewa family home

Maria Agpaoa Maria Agpaoa

By Teri Okita – bio | email

EWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the second straight day, fire has taken another family's home on Oahu. This time, it happened at a townhome in the Ewa by Gentry area. One man was taken to the hospital – reportedly with minor injuries - but it could have been worse, if not for the quick action of workers and residents on-scene.

Witnesses say it all happened so quickly.

"Bright, fiery. Oh my gosh, it was horrible," says one woman. Another added, "All of the sudden, I see smoke coming in, and I smelled smoke."

A raging fire engulfed a third-story home on Hanapouli Circle at the Sunrise development in Ewa. The couple who live there rushed out of the burning building, and luckily, their child was at school.

The neighbor directly downstairs quickly warned people at the first sign of trouble. "I called the neighbor next to me and knocked on the door and told him, ‘You need to get out because there's a fire on the third floor'," says Sunrise resident Maria Agpaoa.

She wasn't the only one who took action. Flames had spread outside the unit into a common area. Two residents couldn't get out and planned on jumping from their third floor lanai. Quick-thinking maintenance workers helped the men escape.

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, Terry Selig, explains, "Maintenance personnel and residents all pitched in, raised up a ground ladder, and laddered the balcony - allowing the two adult males to climb to safety. So, truly a heroic deed."

Some nearby residents watched the whole thing develop around 9:30 Thursday morning. "There was fire crackling and popping, and it's just orange. Just huge. Smoke billowing," says Jessica Delores, who was with her daughter getting shave ice across the street when she saw the fire break out.

Firefighters put the blaze out by 10:00 a.m., and investigators are still determining a cause. The home is a total loss. The man who lived there, though, is fortunate. At one point, he went back in the burning home to rescue the family cat. The man was injured and taken to the hospital. The cat did not survive.

Honolulu fire investigators have been pretty busy lately. They would have released a cause for yesterday's house fire in Mililani by now, but investigators put that on-hold to examine this fire in Ewa.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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