‘We’re still grieving’: Family of Wahiawa woman killed on H-2 freeway loses home to fire

The family says they lost everything when their homes engulfed in flames on Tuesday. (Source: HawaiiNewsNow)
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 7:29 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 22, 2022 at 10:21 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Wahiawa family is doing their best to keep it together after losing their daughter and their home within a matter of months.

Nearly three months ago, 25-year-old Aria Belen Ronquillo was killed in a hit-and-run accident while walking on the H-2 freeway.

On Tuesday, her loved ones lost their home to a fire.

Firefighters responded to a home on Ohai Place in Wahiawa.

Honolulu Fire Department said the cause of the fire was accidental and originated from the stove top.

The family says they lost everything.

“We worked really hard to make sure we kept those memories of her and now I don’t really have any of those memories of her,” said Mark Ronquillo of Wahiawa.

Ronquillo said he is still mourning the loss of his sister.

In their burned-out home, they found her urn. But everything she was remembered by was gone.

Their dogs, Mia and Blackie, were also killed in the fire.

“I’m not trying to think about it as much because I keep breaking down,” Ronquillo said. “I don’t want to keep doing that.”

Mark and his parents are taking care of his sister’s 3-year-old son, Luca.

Dennis Ronquillo, Aria’s father, recalled what happened moments before the fire destroyed their home.

“My wife was cooking on the stove and when the grandson called her, she went to go see what’s going on, the stove burst into flames,” he said.

Dennis Ronquillo said he’s grateful his wife and grandson made it out safely.

“Losing my daughter in August,” Ronquillo said. “[My grandson] could have perished, my wife could have perished, I could have lost so much that it was unbearable.”

Police said Aria Belen Ronquillo was walking on the H-2 Freeway when she apparently stepped into the lanes of traffic and was struck by a vehicle around 4:15 a.m.

The motorist is still unknown. The Ronquillo family is unsure why she was on the freeway.

“Me and my family are speculating and questioning as much as everybody else but as a family we’re still grieving her death,” said Dennis Ronquillo.

But the Ronquillo family is thankful for the community’s support through both tragedies.

“To be honest, I don’t think I deserve it but just want to say thank you so much,” said Mark.

The Ronquillo Family started a GoFundMe as they search for a new home and replace all that was lost in the fire.