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‘We have nothing’: Nanakuli family devastated after flames destroy neighboring homes

Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 10:44 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 22, 2021 at 5:52 PM HST
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NANAKULI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Nanakuli family is heartbroken and angered over a massive fire overnight that apparently spread from a neighboring home to theirs — an incident they say could’ve been avoided.

“This is our house for fricken 60 years. 60 years,” an emotional Letitia Alferez said. “My dad built this house. He was part of (this) home, and look at it now. We have nothing. The only clothes on our back. That’s all we have.”

The fire caused $730,000 in damage. Loved ones began sifting through what was left Sunday.
The fire caused $730,000 in damage. Loved ones began sifting through what was left Sunday.(HNN)

Alferez owned the home along Mikana Street that went up in flames Saturday night. She suspects the fire was ignited by a generator on a neighboring property. She admits their neighborly encounters haven’t always been the best, and is in disbelief both homes are now unlivable.

“It’s emotional, but I don’t know if to scream, cry, yell. I just want to know who’s going to be responsible,” Alferez said.

The fire started around 9:20 p.m. Approximately 40 firefighters rushed to the homes and found the single-story buildings completely engulfed in flames.

Witness video showed the towering flames lighting up the Nanakuli neighborhood. During the fire, HFD said seven adults were able to get out. One dog died in the fire.

“It happened really quick. Scary is not the word. It’s more panic,” Alferez said. “You never thought this would happen to you, but like I said it could’ve been prevented.”

One of the residents was taken to Straub hospital for treatment of burns. A firefighter was also injured and taken to Queen’s West for further treatment and has since been released.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about an hour. It was fully extinguished by midnight.

HFD is investigating the cause of the blaze. Damage was totaled at $730,000. The American Red Cross is aiding those displaced. A GoFundMe account has also been set up for the family. Click here to donate.

The fire caused $730,000 in damage. Loved ones began sifting through what was left Sunday.
The fire caused $730,000 in damage. Loved ones began sifting through what was left Sunday.(HNN)

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