HONOLULU (KHNL) After 35 years with the Honolulu Fire Department, the last several years serving as chief, Atillio Leonardi bid a fond aloha to the department Friday. Leonardi was supposed to retire with the blessing of the new Fire Department headquarters in Kakaako but the opening of the new building is stalled.
Chief Atillio Leonardi has been wating for this day for years. Not just his retirement but the opening of the new Honolulu Fire Department headquarters in fact- our news 8 camera was the first to get a peek inside the building.
"It's not just me, the last 3 or 4 fire chiefs had a hand in it I'm just the lucky one." said Leonardi.
The 16 million dollar complex was supposed to open this week on HFD's 155th anniversary and his retirement. But the opening is stalled because construction isn't finished.
"The contractors ran into some problems and you know the steel, China was buying all of the steel so we had some delays and it won't be ready and that was supposed to be my last hurrah so instead of going out with a bang I am going out with a fizzle."
Leonardi, or as his fellow firefighters call him "Chief Leo" won't get to hang his hat here on his last day as planned. But he says he's proud of the department and the city he's served for more than three decades.
"Its been an honor and a privilege to serve the best fire department in the nation, with the best firefighters in the nation, serving the best citizens in the nation. It's been wonderful, a great opportunity for myself."