Fire destroys Palolo Valley home, causes $600,000 in damage
• Photo gallery: Fire destroys home in Palolo
By David Yamada
An early-morning fire destroyed a two-story house in Palolo Valley. Fire dispatch sounded an alarm at 1:38 a.m. today, followed by a second alarm soon after, for a house fire at 1801 9th Ave. on the corner of Paalea Street and 9th Avenue.
Honolulu Fire Department Captain Terry Seelig said Engine 33 from Palolo Valley first arrived at the scene at 1:42 a.m., four minutes after the alarm was sounded, to find a two-story house fully engulfed in flames. Many other units arrived minutes later.
Seelig said five engine companies, two ladder companies, a rescue unit and a battalion chief — a total of 40 firefighters — responded to this fire. He said the fire was under control at 2:01 a.m. and extinguished at 3:03 a.m. Fire personnel was still on scene at 4:30 a.m. cleaning up.
Seelig reported that two persons occupied the upper floor of the house and one person lived below.
City Department of Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic said paramedics treated and released two females at the scene. One woman who appeared to be in her 80s was treated for smoke inhalation and a woman who appeared to be in her 50s was treated for minor burns, Cheplic said. He said the older woman was the one who was first awakened by the fire and woke up the younger woman so they could both escape the burning house.
Police closed all four cross streets at 9th Avenue and Paalea Street as dozens in the neighborhood watched firefighters battle the blaze. The fire caused an estimated $600,000 in damage to the home.