HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A woman and two pet cats died in a house fire on Pauoa Road around 9 a.m. Saturday.
Officials said the 55-year-old woman was initially hospitalized in critical condition, but later died.
Her identity has not been released.
Three people lived in the two-story home near Booth District Park, including Terry Linthicum.
Linthicum was home at the time of the fire and says she was about to paint the house when saw smoke coming out of the 2nd story window, where her brother’s girlfriend was home alone.
“With force I opened that door, but the smoke was thick. It was too thick. I could not see beyond the door, and so I knew it was not going to be safe for me to go in there,” Linthicum said.
The commotion startled neighbors and contractors working next door who ran over to the house to help.
“Just smoke everywhere. The windows were closed so the whole place was filled with smoke,” neighbor James Martinez said.
“I ran and got one of our fire extinguishers and then another young man from the back jumped up there and I threw him the fire extinguisher and they were spraying everything down that they could,” he added.
Fire crews staffed with 38 personnel along with police arrived on scene within minutes and were told the 55-year-old woman was still inside.
“Upon entry, initial crews found a unresponsive patient,” said HFD battalion chief Alan Park. “HFD extricated the patient from the second floor and brought her down to the garage where personnel initiated medical care.”
The fire was under control within minutes and extinguished by 9:10 a.m.
The Medical Examiner’s office was later called to the scene to determine the woman’s cause of death.
Linthicum says her brother went out to do his usual Saturday errands, so for hours, she was unable to let him know the tragic news.
“He doesn’t know what’s going on. He doesn’t have a cellphone. This is going to be tough on him because they’ve been together for a long time,” Linthicum said.
HFD said the home did not have a smoke detector or a home sprinkler system.
Pauoa Road was closed to traffic between Koalele and Lae Street. It has since reopened.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The American Red Cross is assisting those displaced.
Damage was estimated at nearly $22,500 to the structure and its contents.