MAKAHA (KHNL) - A Friday night brush fire blazed next to the Makaha Resort Golf Course, where at one point the flames were a little more than 100 feet away from the cottages forcing hundreds of guests to flee their rooms.
Fire officials say the first alarm went out just before six o-clock. Five companies and four tankers rushed to the scene and battled the flames for nearly two hours. Some of that time the fire was being fought by resort employees, using emergency fire hoses available in nearby buildings. Once HFD were on scene, other employees made use of available golf carts to transport firefighters to places the large tankers could not easily reach.
Some witnesses said the fire didn't seem to be very big, but winds changed and soon it forced the resort to evacuate a number of guests because of all the smoke. Guest Jack Maxwell said "and then the wind changed I guess and all the locals knew that it meant something bad because everyone started fleeing and it exploded. It really just caught fire."
Many elderly guests wasted no time in getting out of the cottages, escaping the heavy smoke that was making it difficult to breathe. Witnesses reported seeing most of the guests covering their mouths while carrying what ever personal belongings they could quickly grab. One group of workers had emptied boxes of paper just to fill them up with laptop computers and valuable wires, and what ever could be taken in great haste.
By the time the fire reached the base of the resorts cottages, police had evacuated 254 people from the living area.