Section of Kalihi Apartment Collapses

Charlene Padayao
Charlene Padayao

KALIHI (KHNL) - A big boom around eight a.m. Wednesday at an apartment complex on Stanley Street.

A concrete lanai and staircase crashed from the second story to the ground.

Firefighters rushed to rescue residents trapped inside.

Neighbors describe a huge crash and big puffs of concrete dust when the rebar snapped and a giant slab of concrete fell to the ground.

Charlene Padayao and her grandson were in the back of the unit when she heard the crash, "I was up there with him, I was surprised people were yelling, I was surprised what happened. I opened the door I was surprised to see the stairs like that."

Firefighters used a ladder to rescue them. The concrete lanai and staircase fell into the family's front yard. Now there is no way in or out of the top floor apartment. And no escape for the family pets trapped inside.

Firefighters and officers with the humane society crafted a pulley to rescue the two dogs and the cat still inside. The first dog named Bebe was quite large and that made the rescue effort difficult.

The firefighters had to balance the extra weight and take her down the ladder carefully.

Bebe seemed pleased to be back on land.

More tense moments as rescuers brought out a second dog, This puppy named Bear.

Charmaine Peralta says she complained to the landlord for years about the rotting staircase, "We already knew, we kept complaining, no more nothing. Something about money issues. My leg fell right through saw wire things."

The apartment owner says she wanted the family to move out and even got an estimate to repair the stairs. But she says the family would not leave. Now they have to move, says Peralta, "We were looking for a whole month and found a few places but it's costly."

Another problem with moving, not everyone takes pets.