Waikele Brush Fire Threatens Homes

John Podol
John Podol

WAIKELE (KHNL) - A massive brush fire in Waikele came dangerously close to homes Sunday afternoon. It started near the Central Oahu Regional Park. Now police are looking into it as a possible arson.

Chopper 8's bird's eye view shows the smoke from miles away. The flames produce so much black smoke, that even though it's 3 p.m., it looks like dusk. Air one dumps bucket after bucket of water, while on the ground, the huge flames dwarf the firemen trying to get a handle on the fire that ended up scorching about 15 acres.

Curious residents like John Podol come out to look. "We smelled smoke, went out in the backyard, and there was a lot of smoke at the golf course area."

The fire comes so close to homes, some resident evacuate themselves, and fire officials block off the road. Gerry Jekielek helps police direct traffic while noting that the smoke and flames are so big because "with the winds it's been blowing out of proportion."

About 2 1/2 hours later, at 5:15 p.m., firefighters got it under control. The fire damaged $500 worth of property.