Early-morning fire rips through Waipahu home, displacing 15

Early-morning fire rips through Waipahu home, displacing 15

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A fire tore through a home in Waipahu early Thursday, displacing 15 people, according to the Honolulu Fire Department.

Ten units with 35 firefighters responded to the two-alarm blaze around 2 a.m. on Awanei Street, where a single-story duplex was fully involved.

Zeph MacNaughton, a neighbor and former volunteer forest firefighter, jumped into action after waking up to the smell of smoke.

“J jumped up, pounded on the door, woke them up and said ‘Get out.’ Then I went outside, grabbed the hose and started hosing their house down, hoping I would stop it, but then it came through,” MacNaughton said. “I just starting hosing our houses down, the roof, the wall, and sat there through the whole fire.”

He said he stayed there until firefighters arrived shortly thereafter.

Witness Ruth Ah Hee also described the dramatic scene.

“I saw smoke and a large flame on the far end of our neighbor’s house,” she said. “That’s when I got everyone up and out the house real quick. Everyone got out safely, just in time because the flames really, really spread real quick, especially with the trade winds this morning.”

Early-morning fire rips through Waipahu home, displacing 15

The fire was extinguished by 3:15 a.m.

No major injuries were reported, but Emergency Medical Services treated a 73-year-old man for smoke inhalation. Another 63-year-old woman was also treated for a medical condition. Both refused transport to the hospital.

HFD said among the 15 people who were displaced, one was an infant and another was a child. The American Red Cross is assisting those people.

Occupants said the residents who lived in the particular unit where the fire broke out were on vacation, but will be returning on Thursday.

It’s not clear if there were smoke alarms in the home, but officials said there were no fire sprinklers.

About an hour after the fire was reported, a water main ruptured a few blocks down on Mokuahi Street, but it's unclear if those two incidents are related.

HFD is still investigating the cause as well as damage estimates.

This story will be updated.

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