Waikele brush fire comes with 30 feet of homes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waikele brush fire comes with 30 feet of homes

Image Source: Paco Kevin Outram Image Source: Paco Kevin Outram
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WAIKELE,OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Honolulu Fire Department is investigating the cause of a brush fire that came within 30 feet of some Waikele homes.

The blaze was reported at about 3:40 p.m. Friday in an area behind Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.

Flames raced through the area and approached some homes along Lumiauau Street.

"I just saw some fire going at my friend's house," said Mitchell Keawe. "So I came here and tried to get the dog out. Got the dog out and then called (his friend) to see where he was, and then started shooting the house down (with water), because that's what the firefighters told us to do. 

It its closest, the fire came within 20 feet of the fence surrounding the back yard.

Next door, Lanesa Bejnarowicz said she was alerted by her postal carrier.

"She came and she was knocking on each door and each garage and said there was a fire out back," said Bejnarowicz. "I look out back and sure enough it was coming up over the fence and everything."

About 40 to 45 firefighters battled the blaze, assisted by the fire department's Air One helicopter. There were no water sources in the fire area, so tanker trucks were used to bring water in for firefighters.

Flames shot up 15 to 20 feet, while smoke poured through the neighborhood. Some residents were asked to leave their homes for a while when the fire came a bit too close for comfort.

Bejnarowicz didn't consider it an evacuation. "No, they didn't tell me that, they said for now just stand down the street a bit, that it hadn't gotten to that point yet, so we were blessed in that way," she said.

The blaze was contained at 5:15 p.m. Fire crews spent the evening soaking down hot spots.

"It was a close call," said Bejnarowicz. "Luckily we're going to make it through the night."

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