2-alarm blaze rips through Nuuanu walk-up

(Image: Ana Kekahuna)
(Image: Ana Kekahuna)

NUUANU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A blaze tore through a five-unit Nuuanu walk-up Wednesday, leaving all nine occupants of the building homeless.

The two-alarm building fire broke out around 10:25 a.m., and was extinguished by 11 a.m.

There were no reports of injuries among tenants, but a puppy did die in the fire.

And all the units in the building sustained significant damage. The American Red Cross of Hawaii is assisting displaced residents.

Fire officials said three people were home, including a mother and child who were in one of the downstairs units when the fire broke out and they fled when they spotted smoke.

"My cousin came pounding on my door trying to wake me up and she was like, 'The house is on fire! Get out!' And I was like, 'What?!' I grabbed the baby. All I heard was, 'Grab baby!' And I picked her up and I grabbed my two dogs, I was like, 'Grab my dogs please!' And we ran outside," Ana Kekahuna said.

"I started running towards her apartment building. As soon as I got to the apartment building, already in the front upstairs house was already engulfed in flames so I started running underneath...and literally pound on her door, wake her up, help her get the dogs and the baby out," said Kekahuna's cousin Kishan Monis-Hoopai.

None of the units had smoke alarms or sprinklers, something firefighters said needed to change.

"There's no known smoke detectors in the building as of now. But we want to make sure that the public please, make sure that you have a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms do save lives," said HFD spokesman Scot Seguirant.

The blaze started in an upstairs unit, but the exact origin and cause were still under investigation.

While firefighters fought the blaze, Nuuanu Avenue was closed in the area.

A gofundme page has been set up to help with one of the families displaced by the fire.

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