Thanksgiving eve nightmare brings neighbors together - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thanksgiving eve nightmare brings neighbors together

Leanne Donohue Williams Leanne Donohue Williams
Bob Stark Bob Stark

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

MILILANI (KHNL) - Fire officials say flames that tore through a Mililani house Wednesday night caused an estimated $300,000 in damages. Now, neighbors are trying to help the family pick up the pieces.

People who live on Hoeu Place are still reeling from the destructive fire at the Williams home. They're collecting clothes and household items to help the family start over.

Bob Stark tries to stay busy on this Thanksgiving Day. But his mind is on the fire officials who are sifting through the rubble at the Williams home across the street.

"Very good neighbors, you know, watched the kids grow up," he said about the Williams family. "And they've been a good family."

Investigators determine that unattended tiki torches on the lanai started the fire.

"It's heart breaking," Leanne Donohue-Williams, no relation, said through tears. "It's heart breaking for them."

Witnesses say the fast-moving flames devoured the house in just a couple of minutes. Everyone inside managed to escape.

"It's really sad," Stark said. "But we're just fortunate they're all, they're all okay. That's the main thing."

Now, long-time neighbors are collecting donations for the family.

"We're trying to get blankets and appliances, food, gift cards or anything that will help them," Donohue-Williams said. "They have to start from bare bottom, you know."

A family member, who didn't want to appear on camera, says he's grateful for the community's support.

"They never once looked at the material things in life. They just were thanking Jesus that they were all alive," Donohue-Williams said. "And this is a day of Thanksgiving."

The fire also caused about $50,000 in damages to a house next door.

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