AIEA HEIGHTS (KHNL) - A morning fire destroys an Aiea Heights home, sending shockwaves throughout the neighborhood. It started just before 10:30 am Friday in a two-story townhome in upper Aiea.
"I was shocked and scared because I had my daughter with me," said Jennifer Ramos, a neighbor who witnessed the fire. "And the smoke was already full blown by the time I came out."
Four adults and four children live there, but only two people were inside the home at the time. No one was badly hurt, but the house is badly damaged. Neighbors say they've never seen anything like it before.
Firefighters attack the fire from the roof and on the ground. It destroyed this two-story Aiea townhouse.
"I've never seen one like that," said Ramos. "I've seen it on TV but not my neighbor, so I was very surprised it actually happened here."
She called 9-1-1. The 35-year-old was at home with her daughter.
"Very scared and the wind was blowing in the direction of my house, so I was really scared," said Ramos. "So I told the operator hurry up, and I grabbed my daughter."
The building manager says this was the last thing he expected on a Friday morning.
"One of my guys came by and said we got a fire in one of our units," said Napoleon Arline, who has been managing the building for 2 ½ years. "So, of course I shut everything down, and ran on out and we noticed that it was our actual property building."
And when he came out,
"Lot of blazing," said Arline. "It was already at full blown at that point. So whatever happened, it went quick."
The fire charred the home's second floor. It's a place Sifaga Pu'u used to call home.
"We down there," he said. "We see smoke and we run over here."
Pu'u was treated for smoke inhalation after trying to put out the fire. Neighbors say it's important to be prepared because you never know.
"We know where the fire extinguishers are, we know where to meet, and in school, we practice fire drills," said Ramos. "We've been teaching our kids, fire is dangerous. Don't play with matches."
Fire investigators are looking into how the fire got started. It caused $135,000 in damages. Pu'u and his family now have to look for another place to live.