ORCHIDLAND ESTATES, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several small explosions were heard after flames broke out at a property in the Orchidland subdivision of Puna late Thursday, the Hawaii County Fire Department said.
Over a dozen firefighters responded to the initial alarm around 6:30 p.m. to a residence on 37th Avenue, where thick, black smoke could be seen.
A woman living there told the fire department that she was using a propane torch to exterminate ants and might’ve accidentally set pallets on the fire.
Officials said it was difficult to fight the fire because there was a lot of scrap metal in the area, including abandoned cars, appliances and animal pens.
All structures on the property were destroyed.
The fire department called the dwellings “improvised and unpermitted.”
At last check, some firefighters were still on scene to monitor and extinguish hot spots.
This story may be updated.