Kaimuki neighbors pull elderly couple from their burning home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaimuki neighbors pull elderly couple from their burning home

Image from Anthony Ching Image from Anthony Ching
KAIMUKI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

[Update 6/17/15]

Fire investigators say a malfunctioning power strip caused the fire that gutted a 9th Avenue home in Kaimuki.

Damages totaled more than $250,000.

[Original story]

Despite fire crews best efforts flames continued to burn in the attic of the Kaimuki home long after it was doused with water. 

"I'm so glad. So glad everyone is safe," said neighbor Maiko Izon. 

Izon said she was on the phone with a friend Wednesday morning when she heard a loud pop and looked out the window. "All I saw was smoke coming out from next door," said Izon. 

Izon found her elderly neighbor with the garden hose trying to get a handle on the flames. In another room she could hear the woman's husband pounding on a door. Heavy smoke didn't deter one man who ran inside the house four times in an effort to pull the couple to safety. 

Neighbors took turns-- trying to help them find their way out. "Finally I heard something so I ventured in just a little more and I was coughing and wheezing and I couldn't see tearing up and somehow Sam came back again and pulled Mr. Kim. I got Mrs. Kim out finally and Mr. Kim was holding onto Mrs. Kim and we all held on to each other," said neighbor Mrs. Adams.

Family rushed to the home after getting word of what happened while medics treated the couple for smoke inhalation. Neighbors took a step back not wanting recognition just grateful everyone was safe. "Oh my goodness I was sitting here praying giving thanks. It could have been anyone of us," said Mrs. Adams. 

Hawaii News Now confirmed the 89-year-old man who lived in the home is Henry Kim, a former Chief Fire Investigator for the city of Honolulu. 

Fire officials are still working to determine exactly what caused the fire.

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