Neighbors credited for putting out Iwilei apartment fire

(Via Hawaii News Now)

Vigilant and heroic neighbors are being credited for detecting and putting out a fire at an apartment complex in Iwilei Thursday night.

Fire officials confirm the call originally came in as a two-alarm blaze, but the second alarm was dropped when they made the scene off the intersection of Aneko Place and King Street around 8:45 p.m.

Richard, one of the quick-thinking and brave neighbors, told Hawaii News Now he and a few other residents were standing outside the four-floor apartment building when they smelt a strong odor of burning plastic.

Richard says he and his fellow neighbors went searching for the origin of the smell outside near the dumpster, but didn’t find anything, so they started checking the building floor by floor.  Richard says when they got to the second floor, they notice smoke seeping out from one of the apartment doors.  Richard says he and two other guys immediately grabbed the fire hose and extinguisher, which he says are on each floor.  He says once they got the water running, they started dousing the door and knocking but no one answered so he kicked it in.  Richard says the fire was right there near the entrance and appeared to have originated near a bookshelf.  He and the other residents were able to put it out and after walking through the apartment, they confirmed no one was inside.

Other residents reportedly went door-to-door notifying neighbors there was a fire in the building.

Fire officials say the blaze was under control when they arrived and about 100 people had safely evacuated.

At least two people were treated at the scene for smoke-inhalation.  According to witnesses, they were in the group that helped put the fire out.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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