A blackened hillside now rises behind the neighborhood on Mokiawe Street. It was scorched when a fire broke out just before 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Some residents were unaware that it had started until authorities went door to door.
Arnell Harris said a police officer came to her home and asked, "Did you know there's a fire behind you? We didn't know. So all of us just ran outside."
The flames rose quickly up toward the ridge, spreading smoke throughout the Nanakuli area and coming fire close to some of those homes.
"It came within probably about 75 feet from a couple of the houses," said Honolulu Fire Department Battalion Chief Paul Miguel. "We were able to get up on both sides, the makai and mauka sides of the fire, kinda hold it in place. And that point it went over the ridge."
Fire crews scaled the ridge and battled the flames as they spread into the unpopulated area toward Lualualei Naval Road, where the fire was finally contained a little after 3:30 p.m.
Residents were concerned, but luckily the winds were able to push he fire away from their houses.
"Pretty much scary, because, you know, you think about your houses and stuff, but luckily for us the wind was blowing toward the ocean," said Harris.
The winds also allowed firefighters to keep the blaze contained and away from neighborhoods.
"It kinda kept it going toward the ocean," said Miguel. "It shifted a little bit during the day, but it made it run just a little bit slower on the other side, so we were able to contain it."
The fire scorched about eight acres. The cause remains undetermined.