Fire destroys UH Manoa fiscal office - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fire destroys UH Manoa fiscal office

UH security officer Rey Gomez UH security officer Rey Gomez
UH spokesman Gregg Takayama UH spokesman Gregg Takayama

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu firefighters are at the University of Hawaii Manoa campus Monday following a building fire that broke Sunday afternoon.

Fire heavily damaged a portable building at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, possibly destroying hundreds of financial documents for the entire UH system.

The fire continued to smolder during the noon hour, choking much of the university area and Moiliili with thick smoke. Authorities evacuated Kalo Place, immediately downwind of the blaze, because of the heavy smoke.

UH security officer Rey Gomez was patrolling on foot at the Stan Sheriff Center when he spotted black smoke shortly after 8 a.m. He described it as, "Just like a big -- like a huge barbecue, basically, coming out from all four windows, just flames coming out to the roof. I mean it was huge. First time I've seen something like that," Gomez said.

"In the back of my head I'm just thinking I'm hoping that nobody came in during the weekend to do some last-minute paperwork," he added.

Honolulu Fire Capt. Robert Main said no one was in the building at the time the fire started. He also said that the construction of the building and its contents made fighting the blaze difficult. "We do have a lot of paperwork, equipment, electronics that we're trying to deal with," said Main. "Also the construction of the building, there's a lot of open space that we're going to have to open up and get in there."

Fire crews were able to control the flames about 20 minutes after the initial call, but flames re-ignited when a hole opened in the roof, allowing more fire-fueling oxygen in.

According to UH spokesman Gregg Takayama, the building served as the fiscal management and procurement office, handling documents and financial records for the 60,000 or so students and 7,000 to 8,000 faculty and staff of all ten campuses in the UH system. According to Takayama, this included "payroll records, procurement records, accounts payable, student loan information for the entire UH system."

Takayama also said the office was in the process of transitioning to a completely computerized fiscal management system.

"There is a substantial amount of records that are on paper, and we suspect that might be items that might be lost of damaged by water, so there's substantial impact in terms of recovering the records and the man-hours that will have to be put in to reconstructing what is in there," Takayama said.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined. Damage is estimated at $600,000.

SLIDESHOW: University of Hawaii fire


Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Waffle House shooter's guns were seized but then returned

    Waffle House shooter's guns were seized but then returned

    Monday, April 23 2018 5:37 PM EDT2018-04-23 21:37:33 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:07:46 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey). Don Aaron, public affairs manager for the Metro Nashville Police Department, speaks at a news conference Monday, April 23, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn., regarding the capture of Travis Reinking. Reinking, who police say shot and ...(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey). Don Aaron, public affairs manager for the Metro Nashville Police Department, speaks at a news conference Monday, April 23, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn., regarding the capture of Travis Reinking. Reinking, who police say shot and ...
    Gunman suspected of attacking a Waffle House lost Illinois firearms license after exhibiting erratic behavior.More >>
    Gunman suspected of attacking a Waffle House lost Illinois firearms license after exhibiting erratic behavior.More >>
  • Michigan State kept ties to coach accused of sexual abuse

    Michigan State kept ties to coach accused of sexual abuse

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:56:37 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:07:24 GMT
    Michigan State maintained ties to volleyball coach accused of raping young athletes.More >>
    Michigan State maintained ties to volleyball coach accused of raping young athletes.More >>
  • Spokesman: George HW Bush is eager to get well, go to Maine

    Spokesman: George HW Bush is eager to get well, go to Maine

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:35 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:35:44 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:07:18 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip ). Former Presidents George W. Bush, left, and George H.W. Bush arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip ). Former Presidents George W. Bush, left, and George H.W. Bush arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.
    A spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush is eager to get well so he can get to his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.More >>
    A spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush is eager to get well so he can get to his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.More >>
Powered by Frankly