3-alarm fire evacuates apartment building near Ala Moana

3-alarm fire evacuates apartment building near Ala Moana
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Firefighters responded to a three-alarm structure fire that occurred at 600 Sheridan Street Sunday morning.

A total of 15 fire companies staffed with 52 personnel arrived at the scene around 10:30 to find flames and thick smoke coming from a third-floor unit in a five-story apartment complex.

"I woke up to smoke and the entire room was filled," said Scott Polter. "I couldn't see or perceive anything past about a foot or two in front of my face."

Polter and his mother live in the third-floor unit where the flames reportedly first erupted.

He said they barely managed to escape the fire. "I made sure I kept the stairwell door open so more ventilation could get through."

Another resident was just returning home from walking his dogs.

"All of a sudden as I was coming up the ramp, I heard a pop then the flames just shot out," said Kirk Boswell.

Boswell said he ran up the stairs and began banging on doors to try and get everyone evacuated.

"My heart is still pounding," he said. "It's not something you want to see."

All 24 units of the building were evacuated as firefighters battled the blaze with a water cannon. It was brought under control in about 15 minutes.

"The first company arriving on scene did an excellent job of bringing that fire under control quickly, they had good access to fire," said Captain David Jenkins of Honolulu Fire Department.

Residents waited outside, some with their pets, until firefighters allowed them back in.

"I'm just anxious to get back and see if there's any damage to my unit," said Brian Suzuki. "I live there alone, but that's all I got."

One man and two women were treated by EMS for smoke inhalation. All three patients remain in stable condition.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damages are estimated at about $150,000. The American Red Cross was dispatched and is assisted all occupants that were displaced by the fire

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