HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A family of four escaped unhurt as a fire destroyed their rented Foster Village home Wednesday evening.
The Honolulu Fire Department said the blaze was reported at the Kukila Street home at about 5:30 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived, flames had engulfed the single-story home.
The blaze sent flames high into the air, along with clouds of thick black smoke that were visible for miles.
"(I) pulled into my driveway right down the street, and before I knew it, there was like black smoke everywhere," said neighbor Sharon Alvarado. "It was very scary."
The fire department said two adults and two children were at home at the time, but they were able to escape unharmed.
"I'm sure this was one of those situations which is very typical of a fast-moving fire, that there's only time to escape," said Honolulu Fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
The fire spread so quickly that it also destroyed two vehicles that were parked in front of the home.
"There was like people on that side, they were coming super close, and I was yelling at them to go farther because if these cars were to explode, what would happen, you know?," said neighbor Samantha Poe.
"It was pretty intense, and the flames were really high, and I saw the wires popping and then there was a big pop and I didn't know what it was. But it was just really scary," said Alvarado.
Neighbors said the residents were a military family who had just moved in only a month ago.
"When they moved in, we just talked, chat," said next-door neighbor Gavin Garcia. "They're very cool, cool, very nice people."
They also said the home, which was more than 50 years, had been remodeled just before the family moved in.
Everyone expressed relief that the occupants were able to get out safely.
"We'll check to see if they had smoke detectors, which would have helped alert them, but it seems that they were aware of a fire development and quickly executed their escape plan," said Seelig.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Damage is estimated at $350,000.