HFD: Plastic piping involved in Sand Island inferno seen from miles away

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Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 8:19 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 8, 2021 at 12:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu firefighters were challenged Sunday morning in a massive three-alarm fire at a Sand Island industrial building.

HFD said multiple units were called out to a building occupied by the Frank Coluccio Construction Company. First responders got the call around 6:20 a.m. and arrived on scene 10 minutes later.

As many as 23 units staffed with 73 personnel were joined by firefighters from the State of Hawaii Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Unit.

Fire officials say about a half a mile worth of 4″ diameter plastic pipes went up in flames, sending smoke towering over the Sand Island skyline.

“Plastic in general, once it ignites, it’s hard to extinguish. Sometimes water doesn’t work,” HFD Capt. Randall Lindsey said. “Right now we’re trying to cool it down as much as we can.”

A lack of fire hydrants in the area was an added challenge for fire crews. HFD said they utilized hydrants on three different streets, and had to pump the water through connections to get it to the source of the fire.

Crews also used a firefighting foam to suppress the flames.

The massive inferno was seen from miles away Sunday morning.
The massive inferno was seen from miles away Sunday morning.(HNN Viewer)

“Another option would’ve been to siphon water out of the ocean and use salt water. That would’ve been the next option,” Capt. Lindsey added.

The fire burned for hours, and was deemed fully extinguished at 10:25 a.m. An investigator is working to determine what sparked the fire.

Fire officials added that the smoke did not pose a threat to the wider public as hazmat crews found no toxic chemicals in the air.

“The hazmat unit is conducting air sampling at the scene, and right now they found zero parts per million, or no particles of harmful chemicals. They did that at the scene and then they also went downstream, or downwind, and also conducted air monitoring,” Lindsey said.

Industrial buildings are inspected by HFD annually.

No injuries were reported in this incident.

This story will be updated.

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