ENCHANTED LAKE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fire Investigators have concluded their investigation on what started an early-morning fire that destroyed most of an Enchanted Lake home on Monday.
Investigators determined that the fire was accidentally caused by the spontaneous ignition of oily rags stored in a cardboard box in the garage.
The occupant reported that teak oil had been applied to furniture the day before the fire and that cotton rags used in the process had been placed in a box in the garage where the fire started.
Fire investigators pointed out that rags and cloths containing teak or linseed oil, stain, and some oil-based paints, and vegetable oil are subject to spontaneous ignition. Other natural oils such as mineral oil, cottonseed oil, cod and other fish oil also present similar problems.
The blaze on Akupa Street started in the garage of the three bedroom house at 1:03 a.m.
One man was sleeping inside the home at the time and didn't even hear his smoke alarms going off, according to neighbors.
"I ran into the side gate of the house and started banging on the house, every window, every wall I could," said Alika Ferreira, who lives across the street and arrived first on the scene.
Ferreira called 911 and managed to wake the man up. He got him out of the house safely before fire crews arrived.
"I wrestled between grabbing the hose and grabbing my phone," said Ferreira. "The fire went up within 10 minutes. The whole carport was gone. It was insane how fast it was."
No one was injured and neighbors are thanking Ferreira for his quick thinking.
"He caught me off guard when he said 'thanks for saving my life' and I just said sure anytime, "Ferreia said. "It's not something you prepare for and it's just something anyone would do for anyone else."
Eight fire companies staffed with 30 personnel helped bring the fire under control by 1:25 a.m. It was fully extinguished by 2:41 a.m.
The fire resulted in an estimated $150,000 worth of damage.