Firefighters battle Makakilo brush fire, homes evacuated

Christin Lamont
Christin Lamont
Tracie Navarra
Tracie Navarra

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

MAKAKILO (HawaiiNewsNow) - People in Makakilo came home to the smell of fire as flames come within 25 yards of several homes.

"Before I knew it on top of the ridge there was a fire and it was spreading fast fast toward the house.  I just grabbed everything and the dogs and the fire trucks were there and knocking on our door and telling us we had to get out. Right now they're still dropping buckets of water right behind our house so I'm a little worried," said Christin Lamont, evacuee.  "It just spread so quickly and just came like a bee line for the houses it was really scary."

"As we were driving down within a minute all you see is smoke and we started calling all our neighbors letting them know," said Donna Pascua, who wanted to get to her house but was kept out by police.

"I saw the fire creeping over the mountain and it was going pretty fast with the wind," said Tracie Navarra, evacuee.

The Navarra's house is the one closest to the flames.  Jonathan Navarra kept busy shooting the sides of his home with water.

"Hopefully no embers will come in and touch off anything that's dry so at least it may prevent something," said Jonathan Navarra.

Firefighters did evacuate about three dozen people causing some frantic moments with the Kahiwelo neighborhood which has a bunch of new houses less than two years old.

"We just got our house so we're nervous," said Pascua.

"I ran around the house and just threw an outfit for everybody and a couple computers and my important papers and I didn't know what to get but I got the dogs and that's the most important thing," said Lamont.

"It was kind of nerve-racking to go in the house and have to get everything together it's a good lesson that you need to have all your stuff together."

The fire started near the H1 freeway.  Dry brush and strong wind pushed it to the homes.  Two helicopters dropped water from above and 60 firefighters hit it from the ground.  About 100 acres burned in all.  While flames got close no homes were damaged.  Fire investigators are on scene to try and figure out what caused it.

Another fire also started on H1 near Kunia but it was controlled quickly.

And if you're wondering if APEC affected the fire fight, the fire department says absolutely not. They had 9 engines, 5 tankers and 2 helicopters out in Makakilo and still had plenty of resources in town should they be needed.

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