1 dead after fire rips through a Hilo home, officials confirm

1 dead after fire rips through a Hilo home, officials confirm

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - One person is confirmed dead after a fire ripped through a plantation-style home on Kinoole Street in Hilo Saturday morning.

Hawaii County Fire officials say the fire started around 9:30 a.m. toward the back of the the two-story home. It quickly spread to the front, fully engulfing the house.

Witnesses reported seeing the building up in flames as the fire threatened neighboring structures.

Viewer video sent to Hawaii News Now show flames ripping through the building and thick black smoke billowing into the air.

"I heard a big explosion, I looked out my window and it was complete smoke. I Couldn't see anything. I thought it was my parents' work place so I ran outside till I saw the house next to it on fire. It was huge and there was a lot of people running, animals running out the house, (and) the houses next to the house on fire was burning too," witness Joey Lee said.

When the fire was extinguished around noon, officials went in and located a body within the home.

The victim has not yet been identified.

Alarmed neighbors could only watch as the dangerous flames prevented anyone from entering the building.

"I was trying to identify where the smoke was coming from and I realized it was the house next door, and I knew who lived at the house so I was pretty much screaming for them to get out," resident Nazareth Lee said.

Fire officials added that the fire caused $525,000 in damage and neighboring homes sustained minor damage.

The cause has not been determined, though officials say the garage and rear of the structure are possible points of origin.

Red Cross disaster volunteers are assisting other residents of the home that were displaced.

This story will be updated.

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