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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 8:23 a.m., Thursday, December 13, 2001

Papakolea shack destroyed in fire

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

Fire investigators were trying to determine what caused a fire that destroyed a shack in Papakolea today.

Six fire companies responded to the 5:37 a.m. alarm at 417 Hiilani Street and had the blaze under control at 5:55 a.m., said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Kenison Tejada.

Neighbors awoke to screaming, flames and "popping" sounds that they said sounded like firecrackers. Firefighters rushed down a slippery flight of steps to reach the fire and kept the blaze from spreading, Tejada said.

"When we arrived on the scene, (the occupants) told us hurry up, and that no one was inside the shack," Tejada said.

Salina Artuyo, a friend of the homeowner, said she was sleeping inside a nearby house when the fire broke out. She said one person named "Molokai" was inside the shack at the time of the fire but escaped.

"I don't know what happened," Artuyo said. "I'm glad everyone is okay."

Police said they have responded to trouble at the house in the past, and neighbors said they have seen a lot of cars and visitors coming and going there.

Artuyo said the accusations were "unfair" and that the people at the house "minded their own business."