Kauai mayor offers support, supplies after fire rips through Hanalei Colony Resort

A Kauai resort hit hard by flooding now dealing with fire aftermath
Published: Jul. 28, 2018 at 1:09 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 28, 2018 at 11:05 PM HST
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WAINIHA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. offered words of support to those affected by the fire that ripped through the Hanalei Colony Resort on Friday night.

Several buildings were extensively damaged in the blaze and Kauai firefighters worked late into the night to put it out. Luckily, no one was injured.

The resort on Kauai's northern shore is no stranger to tragedy after having to shut down due to heavy flooding in the Garden Isle back in April.

"It's one more layer right now that we could've done without, that's for sure," said Laura Richards, general manager of the Hanalei Colony Resort.  "And fires are just scary. Fires are just frightening."

The resort is made up of a number of low-rise condo units. In the wake of April's widespread flooding on Kauai's north shore, it's been closed to outside guests and instead, has served as a community hub and a place to stay for displaced residents and volunteers who flocked to the area to help.

Carvalho visited the resort on Saturday to offer words of encouragement, as well as county resources.

"I told (Laura) no worries. We will work together and come back strong. Find whatever we need to do. Like I said, the supplies and the equipment she needs is on it's way already," Carvalho said.

The resort's pool house, laundry and maintenance areas were all affected in the 2-alarm fire, heavily impacting the resort's ability to reopen once Kauai roads recover from historic flooding.

"We were just getting prepared to start doing work and we had planned to reopen the same time the roads reopened now we'll have to see," Richards said.

In addition to structural damage, the resort lost most of its linens and towels in the flames. Carvalho sai

Members of the Kauai Fire Department were dispatched to the fire at the Hanalei Colony Resort in Wainiha around 8 p.m. Friday.

Upon arriving to the scene, firefighters saw flames near the resort's pool house, maintenance and office building areas.

Firefighters worked to put out the flames and had the fire under control around 9:30 p.m. They remained on site past midnight to monitor hot spots and mop up.

"The good news is everyone was safe and our actual buildings for occupancy are okay," Richards said.

Photos show large flames burning through multiple structures. Richards said the space where the fire broke out is more than 100 feet by 100 feet, but away from guest and resident rooms.

Adding to the complications, the road into Wainiha is still blocked off in some areas, which made it difficult for first responders to get to the scene quickly, according to Richards.

"They could only bring down one small fire truck ... It's a miracle, really. My office is right across from the area that was on fire," she said.

"The Wainiha-Haena community has faced one challenge after another in the past few months, especially General Manager Laura Richards and her team at the Hanalei Colony Resort. The Colony has been providing flood support since day one, including housing teams of first responders and volunteers. And now they need our support. Our hearts are with them all," Carvalho said.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

This story may be updated.

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