Cause of fire at 'Hawaii Five-0' stars home explained

Cause of fire at 'Hawaii Five-0' stars home explained
Doctor Glen Nakafuji
Doctor Glen Nakafuji

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Fire Department released the official cause of the fire at Hawaii Five-O star Alex O'Loughlin's house as spontaneous combustion.

We went to an expert to get the definition of what it is, how it happens, and the best method to prevent it.

Doctor Glen Nakafuji works for local think-tank and research firm Oceanit.

"I've worked around, let's just say a lot of energetic situations, explosives, flammables, etc" he said.

He's not kidding.  Dr. Nakafuji has a Doctorate in nuclear engineering.

He said the process of a spontaneous combustion is a simple one.

"Kerosene, benzine, acetone, any kind of solvent or fuel, it vaporizes, it evaporates.  If enough of that gets into the air in the right mixture in the air and there is a spark, that can light off and you can get fire".

The spark is just as common as the fuel.

"It could be static discharge, like static electric discharge.  It could be from a power outlet sparking.  It could be from the car, it could be from a person walking around and touching things.  There's a number of sources".

Preventing these fires is just as simple as how they start.

"Remove the fuel source.  So if you have rags that are soaked in solvent or fuel, and if they were washed, dried out…basically you're removed the fuel source from the situation.  Then there wouldn't be any danger."

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