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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 12:21 p.m., Thursday, November 16, 2006

One dead in morning fire at 'Ewa Beach home

Advertiser Staff

One person was found dead this morning in a fire that swept through a single-family home on Kilipoe Street in 'Ewa Beach.

A body was found in the back bedroom of the home, said Honolulu Fire Capt. Frank Johnson.

Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department, said a death pronouncement was made at the fire scene at 10:23 a.m.

"The body was burned beyond recognition," Cheplic said.

Emergency responders at the scene could not immediately determine the victim's gender or age.

Johnson said the first call was received at 10:07 a.m. and that firefighters were at the scene at 91-623 Kilipoe Street six minutes later. The fire was declared under control at 10:18 a.m.

He said about 20 firefighters from the 'Ewa Beach and Kapolei stations fought the blaze,

"When our guys arrived, the structure was already fully engulfed," Johnson said, noting that nearby Board of Water Supply workers were already battling the blaze.

"They broke down the front door and were trying to fight the fire with garden hoses, but it was just too hot and there was too much smoke," he said. One of the BWS workers was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, Johnson said.

"We appreciate people trying to help, but a fire like this is best left to professionals who have the necessary equipment and training," Johnson said.

Initial estimates set damage to the home at $200,000 and loss of contents at $80,000.

Police and fire investigators were at the scene trying to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

Johnson said the older, single-wall wooden home probably went up in flames very quickly. He estimated that at least 50 percent of the home was destroyed.