Hundreds of Aiea residents could be without power for a week

Published: Sep. 21, 2014 at 3:24 AM HST
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AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents in a condo in Aiea may have to wait a week for electricity and warm water to come back on.

The power problem started around 8:00 a.m. Saturday when a transformer caught fire at the Lelepono building on Uao Place.

The giant plume of smoke could be seen from the Kamehameha Swap Meet. Families who live in the building were stocking up on ice or finding another place to stay Saturday night.

"First we noticed that the lights were flickering and then my daughter said, 'Come outside, there's steam.' And so I went out there and you could see the smoke coming up and you could hear the explosions in the transformer," said resident Chris Richardson.

The site manager says it is a 32-story building with a penthouse. He says that includes 300 units and approximately 600 residents.

A backup generator lit the lobby area, parking garage and activated one elevator Saturday night.

The site manager says the fire damaged about 150 feet of underground wire that needs to be replaced and that is part of the reason why repairs could take so long.

Crews with Hawaiian Electric Company were on scene assisting Saturday. Spokesman Ken Yatomi confirmed the transformer is owned by HECO. However, he says the issue stems from the property's equipment.  The site manager denies that allegation.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. There were no injuries and no other structures were damaged.

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