HFD wraps up investigation into a house fire that caused $1.8M in damage

MAUNAWILI, OAHU (Hawaii News Now) - Fire investigators have completed their investigation into a massive blaze that caused $1.8 million in damage.

The Honolulu Fire Department says due to extensive damage, the cause of the fire could not be determined. The case been closed, but may reopen if new details about the fire emerges.

The fire happened Thursday at a large Maunawili home that neighbors say has been unoccupied for some time.

It took firefighters nearly four hours to knock out the two-alarm fire at a massive home at the end of a cul-de-sac on Maleko Street in the back of Maunawili.

Firefighters say a neighbor called 911 at 3:15 a.m. to report the fire, and by the time the first unit arrived on the scene, the house was engulfed in flames.

"The house was so fully involved and the structure was weakened to such a point that we didn't want to put our firefighters in there," said Deputy Fire Chief Lionel Camara. "We're not going to risk their lives if the structure is coming apart and there's no one in the house."

Neighbors fear the fire may have been caused by hikers who they say trespass through the property or by homeless individuals who may have been illegally living there.

Firefighters say the only thing they knew for sure is that the fire originated at the back of the house.

"Getting around to the backside where the fire was originally started, we had a hard time getting to the root of the fire back there," Camara said.

The size of the home wasn't HFD's only challenge.

Though firefighters were helped by their deck guns, which shoot 1,000 gallons of water per minute, the bigger obstacle was a water line down the street broke while they were trying to put out the flames, causing some of the road to buckle.

Nine units and at least 34 firefighters responded to the scene. There were no reported injuries.

This story will be updated.

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