Never before seen collapse home footage - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Never before seen collapse home footage

Chris Diaz Chris Diaz

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - It's never-before-seen video of the collapsed home in Kalihi. Sunday night fire crews discovered nearly 50 people living in the ramshackle home which had been subdivided into multiple rooms.

Keoni Maemori has two friends who lived in that make-shift home on Gulick Avenue. They invited him to come over and he brought his camera with him. This was about a month before the home collapsed.

It's no ordinary home. Maemori thought it was so interesting, he had to shoot some footage.

He was fascinated by four floors of living space, divided into so many rooms, occupied by so many people.

But what he didn't realize was that this would some of the only video inside the house before it came crashing down Sunday.

"There not only dispossessed of their house, but quite importantly they don't have their belongings anymore, that's very important to these people," The tenants' attorney Chris Diaz said. "Unfortunately, the law doesn't provide a remedy for the both of those."

Around 50 people lived in the home. While most of them have found other places to stay, there are a half-dozen who haven't.

"One thing that keeps coming up is why wasn't something done earlier, they have months and years of complaints," Diaz said.

The Red Cross has helped them with the process. But on Monday, the former residents of the Gulick house are being forced to find someplace else to stay.

"The shelter has been a clean, safe secure place for them to stay, but obviously none of them want to stay here forever and they know that they can't," Red Cross volunteer Jack Bohman said.

But the residents are still worried about their futures.

"These people aren't thinking money, lawsuit or vengeance, really all they want is, these are normal people with families, they're worried about when this place closes Monday or at most on Sunday, when and where their next meal is going to come from, where are they going to sleep," Diaz said.

Maemori says based on what he learned after shooting these pictures he'd encouraged his friends to move out.

The city has sent a notice to the owners of the home to correct violations. It's likely though the house will be demolished.

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