Piikoi High Rise Fire Under Investigation - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Piikoi High Rise Fire Under Investigation

Jason Churchill Jason Churchill
Warren Pitts Warren Pitts

By Beth Hillyer

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Home video captured a raging inferno inside a Piikoi high rise Saturday night. Witness Jason Churchill describes the horror, "It was a big ball of flame coming out of that fifth floor apartment. It was probably the scariest thing that happened to me."

The fire broke out just before 8pm on the seventh floor of the Piikoi Towers at 1556 Piikoi Street. People living in the building were told to evacuate as firefighters battled the raging flames without the help of sprinklers.

When we arrived the fire was out. There were evacuees and spectators staring at the burned out apartment in disbelief. Also the thick smell of smoke was everywhere in this Makiki neighborhood.

There were no injuries. The fire destroyed one apartment and damaged the units above and below.

With no sprinklers to stop it the apartment turned into a raging inferno. Those in the Piikoi Towers smelled smoke and looked out. "We smelled something. We looked down off our lanai and flames were pouring out above the fifth floor. We grabbed our cameras went out the door woke up neighbors." says Churchill.

Evacuees poured outside. Jason Churchill worried the fast moving fire would spread to his unit, "My first reaction is probably the wrong reaction. I don't have insurance and I hope everything is going to be ok. Second reaction was I hope everyone is ok."

Once outside Jason Churchill shot this video, "By the time we got down the firefighters were pulling up."

Warren Pitts is another evacuee. He saved his cat.

"We were just watching a TV show and then some guy came knocking on our door. Saying there was a fire. We gathered our animals and just came out here" said Pitts.

Once outside Pitts was surprised by the size of the flames

"Just a big blaze coming out the window."

After firefighters knocked down the flames, smoke still poured out. Now that everyone is safe, fire investigators are trying to find out what started the fire.

While this is not confirmed, some in the Piikoi Towers told KHNL that the fire alarm never went off.

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