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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2001

Papakolea fire caused by candle

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

An unattended candle started a fire that caused an estimated $15,000 in damages to a shack in Papakolea yesterday morning, a fire official said.

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

A woman who was inside the shack at the time of the fire escaped, Tejada said. The fire caused $10,000 in structure damage and $5,000 in content damage, Tejada said.

Neighbors said they awoke to screaming, flames and "popping" sounds that they said sounded like firecrackers. Police said the sounds were probably ammunition rounds, Tejada said.

Firefighters rushed down a slippery flight of steps to reach the fire and kept the blaze from spreading, Tejada said.

A friend of the homeowner said she was sleeping inside a nearby house when the fire broke out. She said one person named Moloka'i was inside the shack at the time of the fire but escaped.