KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fire investigators are trying to determine what caused a blaze that completely destroyed a single-family home in Enchanted Lake Friday evening.
The fire was reported at 4:53 p.m. Flames had engulfed the home on Palawiki Street by the time fire crews arrived.
Robin Makapagal took cellphone video of the flames. "We heard the sounds first and we heard the dogs barking, and then we heard the popping and we saw the flames, so I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures," Makapagal said. "It happened really, really fast. I mean amazingly fast."
Makapagal said neighbors were trying to put the blaze out with their garden hoses. A next door neighbor saw black smoke as he was returning home.
"There was a guy there with a hose and he was saying 'call 911," Doug Borton said. "So I grabbed the hose, he called 911, and then we tried to battle the fire, but things kept exploding and popping, and so we had to get out of there."
Honolulu Fire crews brought the blaze under control in ten minutes, despite some initial difficulties with power lines in the neighborhood.
"We had a little bit of hazardous obstacles when we first arrived, with electrical wires arcing on the ground," said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Rick Karasaki. "So we had a lot of good support from Hawaiian Electric Company, which came quickly to de-energize the electrical wires."
Authorities said no one was home at the time of the blaze.
"Our understanding is that the people that own the home are away on a trip, and the son is staying in the house. But he wasn't in the home at the time of the fire," Karasaki said.
"We checked to see if anybody was home, but nobody responded to our screams, so we knew nobody was home," neighbor Borton said. "But we were just trying to keep the car (next to the garage) from exploding and all the stuff that was inside the house."
While the home was destroyed, no one was injured.
"The priority now is there's no life lost," Karasaki said. "The property's pretty much gone. We wanted to make sure that the fire didn't spread, and we accomplished that."
The fire department said Saturday that the blaze originated in the garage, where there was a gas water heater and an electrical box. However, investigators were unable to conclude which one could have started the fire. The home was deemed to be a total loss.