Heald College fire snarls Kapi'olani traffic
A small fire at the Heald College on Kapi'olani Boulevard this afternoon caused a major traffic headache as westbound lanes of the major thoroughfare were closed for more than two hours.
The fire at 1500 Kapi'olani Boulevard was reported at 4:46 p.m. and arriving companies discovered a fire on the fifth-floor roof of the building, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Robert Main. Smoke from the fire was drawn into the building's air-handling unit and filled the building, Main said.
About 100 people were evacuated from the building and there were no reports of injuries. The fire was extinguished at 5:06 p.m. and the cause was under investigation, Main said.
Damage was estimated at $50,000 to the building and its contents. Main said most of the damage was caused when a wet standpipe that had rusted through ruptured, spilling water on the fourth floor.
He said the building's manager hired a contractor to mop up the water.
The two-alarm fire forced police to close the west-bound lanes of Kapi'olani Boulevard at the peak of rush-hour traffic. The lanes were closed for about two hours.