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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2001

Cause of Papakolea fire investigated

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

A firefighter directs water to help fight a fire that burned down a shack adjacent to a home on Hiilani St. in Papakolea.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

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

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 HFD Capt. Kenison Tejada.

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.

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

"I don't know what happened," she said. "I'm glad everyone is OK."

Police yesterday cordoned off a section of the dead-end street and a detective from the Criminal Investigation Division was on the scene, Tejada said.