Afternoon Fire Damages Two Kalihi Businesses

KALIHI (KHNL) -- Bright orange flames shoot out of a warehouse on Sand Island Access Road Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses said the fire spread quickly, burning two warehouses in Kalihi.

The 9-1-1 call came out just before two Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday evening, employees cleaned up, and moved stuff out of the warehouse. They're grateful no one got hurt.

A truck completely engulfed in flames.

Thick, black smoke bellowing into the air.

And strong winds pushing the fire dangerously close to a warehouse.

"We started panicking already trying to grab everything, trying to move them before the trucks started getting on fire," said Henry Pia, an employee of D&D Trading, a luggage and handbag warehouse that was damaged in the fire.

"We got two of our other vans out of there, and our delivery van out of there, and that one van that got caught on fire was sitting next to the pallets," added Joel Oswald, his co-worker.

These men work at this luggage warehouse. The owner was distraught and in disbelief.

The fire also damaged a construction renovation company.

"It came through to my side and it started burning all my material, my lumber material that I got stored in the back corner," said David Sedeno, whose warehouse was also damaged by the fire.

Workers did what they could do before the fire department arrived.

"Come over here and see where it was, and they only had the fire extinguishers, and I knew it was too late to do anything with that," said Oswald.

About 35 firefighters responded. The flames burned through the walls.

"The heat radiated through the corrugated metal, and did some damage to the interior of two of the units," said Capt. Frank Johnson, a public information officer with the Honolulu Fire Department.

Firefighters put out the fire in about 10 minutes. The people who work in that complex are glad no one was hurt.

"Pretty bad," said Pia. "Could've been worse, too, man. This whole building could've burned."

At this point, the fire department does not know the exact cause of the fire. It may take a day or two before fire investigators make a determination.