Makakilo Man Rescues Elderly Neighbor From House Fire

Dane Hoku Johnasen
Dane Hoku Johnasen

MAKAKILO (KHNL) -- He's lying in bed when he hears his elderly neighbor screaming for help. A Makakilo man then leaps into action and helps the woman out of her burning home.

It happened on Akaula Place Tuesday night.

Heroes never rest. Dane Hoku Johnasen is back at work as a crane operator, a day after running towards a burning home to rescue his neighbor, 75-year-old Dolores Kelly.

"I thought it would be worse," he said. "I thought I would have to break some walls or something."

Fire officials say the elderly woman had difficulty getting out because various things she collected over the years were blocking her way.

"I heard glass, and she said, 'Hoku, help,'" Johnasen said. "So I thought it was somebody trying to break in her house. When I ran around my truck, I saw her house was on fire."

He rushed to a bedroom window.

"I could see her," he said. "So I just put my hand around, my arms around her waist and just lifted her out of the house."

The 44-year-old says he grew up next to Kelly, and went to school with her son.

"Feels great, you know," he said. "I pray a lot, and I always ask God to use me. If it, if that does happen, I want to be there to help her."

He says with all this clutter, he knew the house was a fire hazard.

"Just want to be a helpful neighbor and not bother her about it," he said. "Just let her live the way she wanted. I just was ready for a fire."

Investigators are still trying to determine what started the fire.