Scores still homeless a week after deadly highrise fire

Scores still homeless a week after deadly highrise fire
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

MOILIILI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been a week since three people were killed in a highrise blaze, and firefighters are still investigating to determine the cause of the blaze.

A dozen others were injured and about 200 units were damaged or destroyed, leaving many families displaced.

The building's property management company is offering up to $100,000 in grants to those affected through the nonprofit Associa Cares.

As of Friday morning, there were more than 200 applicants.

"The response or the request for relief has been overwhelming, as has the need," said Andrew Fortin, SVP of external affairs for Associa Cares. "People who have lost their homes will probably get a larger grant and the people who have suffered damage will probably get a little less."

Moon Yun Pellerin and her family were lucky to have made it out the fire alive, but they haven't been allowed back in to see their 27th floor unit.

"I am anxious to get to the unit and actually see if it's as bad as they say it is," said Pellerin.

HFD still has floors 26 and 27 completely shut off while the investigation continues. At this point, authorities determined the blaze started in unit 2602.

Joel Horiguchi's 25th floor apartment suffered severe water damage.

He's been back three times to salvage some belongings, but by Friday morning his floor was boarded up. He's concerned mold is starting to grow.

"It feels like it's getting worse and the longer we wait, the more frustrating it is for us because the less things we can salvage in our unit," said Horiguchi.

Residents are hoping the grant money from Associa will come quick.

"I hope it's soon because money doesn't last and it goes really fast," Pellerin said. "Whatever they can provide for us would be really great because we lost everything and we just walked away with the clothes on our back."

Fortin said grants can range from $500 to $1,500 depending on losses and will be delivered to applicants starting next week.

Residents can fill out a disaster relief request form by clicking here.

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