Monday, January 29, 2001
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Posted on: Monday, January 29, 2001

O'ahu briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services


Gutsy’ girl suffers burns

A 12-year-old girl who suffered burns on her face, arms and legs when she tried to fight a fire at her Makakilo Heights home yesterday was "pretty gutsy" but probably should have fled from the blaze, officials said.

She was taken to Kapiolani Medical Center for observation and treatment of second-degree burns after she climbed to the burning loft of the home at 92-7095 Eleele St. with a fire extinguisher.

The fire may have flared up just at that moment, and she may have been overwhelmed, Fire Capt. Richard Soo said.

"Our rule is call 911 and leave," Soo said. "People should not try to put out a fire themselves unless they have been trained in the use of a fire extinguisher."

Every family should establish an escape route with two ways out as a fire safety precaution and decide on a safe meeting place outside the home, he said.

Fire investigators will return to the scene today to attempt to determine the cause of the blaze, which caused $40,000 in damage to the structure and $15,000 to contents, and left the family of five homeless.

Two engines, a multipurpose truck and 14 firefighters responded to the 1:49 p.m. fire, and had it under control at 2:07 p.m., Soo said.

The girl’s mother and a sister, 10, escaped unharmed, as did three small dogs and a cat; the father and an older sister were not home at the time.


Woman badly hurt in crash

A 33-year-old Mililani woman was in guarded condition yesterday at the Queen’s Medical Center after a Saturday night vehicle collision at the intersection of Kaukonahua Road and Kamananui Road.

She had been in critical condition when she was flown by helicopter to Queen’s, along with a 35-year-old woman in serious condition. The 35-year-old was released from the hospital yesterday.

The 33-year-old woman was a back-seat passenger in a 1990 Chrysler Le Baron that was crossing the intersection from Kaukonahua Road when it was hit at 7:20 p.m. by a 1995 Honda Civic driven by the 35-year-old woman.

Two males, the driver and a passenger also in the Le Baron were not seriously injured. A 29-year-old man and a 1-year-old boy in the Civic also escaped serious injury.

The 35-year-old woman, who is eight months’ pregnant, complained after the accident of back and stomach pains. Police said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash.


Man injured at work site

A 24-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition yesterday after an industrial accident on Sand Island.

The Pearl City man was injured when he was pinned between a truck and a storage container at Eco-Feed Inc. on Makepono Street, police said.

The man, who works as a cart washer, was unconscious when he was taken to the Queen’s Medical Center. He initially was listed in guarded condition, but his condition was later downgraded to critical.

Ships ready for service

Two combat cargo vessels honoring Korean War heroes from Hawaii are about to begin service with the Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

Army Sgt. Leroy Mendonca and Pvt. Herbert Pililaau were killed in 1951 in separate actions while covering the withdrawal of troops after supplies and ammunition began to run out. Both were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Mendonca was a member of the 7th Regiment, 3rd Division, while Pililaau was with the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division.

The USNS Mendonca and the USNS Pililaau are both 950 feet long and can carry more than 62,000 tons of cargo. They are considered "surge ships," which ferry combat equipment and supplies to soldiers in a fighting area.

The Mendonca is to join the Sealift Command tomorrow. It will be joined by the Pililaau in July.

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