Lanikai house fire reignites three times

Lanikai house fire reignites three times

Neighbors say no one lives at the home at 239 Kaelepulu Drive, but the house is far from empty.

"There is an accumulation of things that should have been removed but hasn't," said Eugenia Lowther, who lives nearby.

From the road, it's hard to tell the property looks out of place.  But behind the gate nestled among other million dollar homes is garbage, furniture and appliances.

Neighbors say the owner is an elderly woman who is living with family on another island.  The first time the home caught fire was late Tuesday afternoon, and that's when neighbors became concerned.

"The flames were coming up and the smoke was unbelievable," said Lowther.

Eugenia Lowther is a caretaker for an elderly couple who lives two houses down.  She says the fire burned so hot, she had to call on emergency crews for assistance.

"Please help me I need to get a huge fan with a generator and I need oxygen.  I have a 97-year-old man and a 92-year-old woman, the house is filled with smoke," said Lowther.

Fire officials made the call to fight the fire from a distance, working to keep the flames from spreading to nearby properties. We're told a home next door sustained about $5,000 in damage from the heat alone.

"We didn't want to go in any place that would put our firefighters in danger," said Honolulu Fire Department Captain Michael Pangilinan.

Because crews haven't been inside, it's been a battle to completely extinguish the flames which started up again twice on Wednesday morning. Fire officials say they wouldn't be surprised if they had to come out a fourth time.

"They're going to have to get in contact with the owner in Maui to make her aware and her family aware there is a problem and this property should be cleared out," said Lowther.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

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