KAHULUI – A fire at Kokua Pool Tuesday night in Kahului was likely arson. Last night at 8:30 p.m., Maui firefighters responded to a structure fire at Kokua swimming pool on Uhu Street, next to the Kahului Community Center.
Kahului firefighters arrived at 8:38 p.m. and found that Maui police officers were in the process of extinguishing the fire. Officers leaped over the fence and used a garden hose to put out a plastic bench burning outside the pool office.
A fire investigator was called and determined the fire was intentionally set. Damage to the bench made of recycled plastic was estimated at $1,000. A window near the bench also sustained minor damage.
Three fire units from Kahului and Wailuku responded to the fire.
KIHEI – Yesterday afternoon around 4:55 p.m., firefighters responded to a kite surfer reportedly in distress off shore of the Maui Sunset Condominiums, in South Maui.
Kihei firefighters arrived at 5:01 p.m. and spotted a person and kite in the water about 300 yards off shore. Beachgoers called it in after seeing the kite go in the water and the surfer unable to get it back up. After firefighters on surfboards could not bring the man in, a Kahului crew on rescue watercraft eventually brought the kite surfer to shore at 5:50 p.m.
The man had no injuries.
The 63 year-old man from La Jolla, California, said the kite’s lines got tangled around his ankles so he was unable to fly his kite. Adding to the trouble was that the kite got caught in the current and he couldn’t swim in. The man said he was an experienced kite surfer and he has never had something like this happen.
Firefighters from Kihei and Rescue 10 from Kahului responded.
NAKALELE POINT – A visitor from France owes his good condition this morning – and the perhaps his life – to Maui’s expert first responders. At 10:18 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters and ocean safety personnel responded to a possible ocean rescue at the Nakalele Blow Hole, in West Maui.
At 10:38 a.m. Napili firefighters arrived at the parking area to the Blow Hole trail. Friends of the victim said a large wave crashed over him and knocked the man down. The man injured his leg and could not walk on it.
The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter was dispatched because of difficulties in carrying the man up the rugged lava rock trail. When firefighters reached him, the man’s only complaint was his leg. Crews splinted his leg and prepped him to be airlifted.
At 11:45 a.m., a rescue crew aboard Air 1 airlifted the man to a grassy area next to Kahekili Highway, where he was transferred to paramedics. The man was taken to Maui Memorial medical Center in good condition.
The 51-year-old man visiting from France, was taking in the scenery at the Blow Hole with family and friends when the wave knocked him over.
The public is reminded to be vigilant when exploring anywhere near the shoreline. Today’s incident is a good reminder that you should always pay attention to ocean conditions. The gentleman was fortunate to have not been more seriously injured. A man was knocked by a wave into the Nakalele Blow Hole, years back. His body was never recovered.
Here are a few reminders when venturing near the waters edge.
An 80 year-old man visiting from California is an apparent drowning victim. At 10:11 a.m. today first responders were summoned to Black Rock, Kaʻanapali for an unresponsive male victim face down in the ocean. The victim was then pulled to shore by bystanders. The bystanders initiated Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, which was continued by First Responders, when they arrived on scene.
Despite life-saving efforts the victim died at the scene.
The victim is identified as James S. Sweeny from Carlsbad, California. Cause of death has not been officially determined, pending autopsy results.
KANAIO, MAUI – This past Monday at 7:12 p.m., firefighters were dispatched for a hiker who had lost his way in the Makena area of South Maui.
Kula firefighters were notified that a 19 year-old male hiker started his hike at around 1 p.m. from the Wailea area, and headed south towards Makena. The man called 911 dispatchers for help after darkness set in and he was unable to find his way back. He did not know where he was, but dispatchers were able to get his GPS position from his mobile phone, which was pinged somewhere near the shoreline in the Kanaio area, about four miles East of La Perouse Bay, in Makena.
Firefighters contacted Ulupalakua Ranch for assistance in gaining access to the remote area in Kanaio, makai of Piilani Highway. Before firefighters could reach the area with all-terrain vehicles, a ranch employee used an ATV to drive down the 2 mile lava rock trail and found the hiker on the “King’s Trail” near the ocean, just west of the Auwahi Windmills.
The hiker was brought up to firefighters waiting on Piilani Highway at around 9:30 p.m., where the man was given fluids to drink. He was uninjured but really thirsty, since he had not brought any food or water with him. A fire battalion chief drove the man back to Kihei. The man is visiting from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and is staying with friends in Kihei.
LAHAINA – As if yesterday wasn’t hot enough already, Maui Fire Department investigators still haven’t determined the causes of three fires that erupted within an hour of each other Thursday in West Maui.
At 10:50 a.m. fire crews responded to multiple reports of a brush fire on starting up on Kai Hele Ku Street in Launiupoko. A Lahaina ladder crew arrived at 11 a.m. and was able to contain a grass fire found burning on the north side of Kai Hele Ku Street, just below the roundabout at Haniu Street. The fire burned just over one acre of grass. The fire was called contained at 11:13 a.m., and extinguished at 12:10 p.m. The Lahaina ladder and water tanker, and a Napili engine responded to the incident. The cause was undetermined.
At 11:39 a.m., emergency dispatchers sent fire crews to the second reported brush fire at North Hakau Place in Lahaina. A Kihei engine company covering the Lahaina district while Lahaina crews were at the Launiupoko fire, arrived at 11:48 a.m. and initially thought they were facing a structure fire because of dark black smoke coming from the garage port. It was later discovered that there was a homeless encampment burning in the Kahoma stream gulch, to the rear of homes on North Hakau Place. That fire burned a 50 x 50 foot area of trash and a makeshift shelter built of wooden pallets and lumber.
At one point, it came within 20 feet of structures, melting plastic storage cans from the heat. No structure damage or injuries were reported. The fire was called contained at 12:56 p.m. and extinguished at 2:49 p.m. Two engine crews from Kihei and Napili responded to the incident. Fire investigators remained on scene determining the cause for several hours but no determination was made official.
At 11:52 a.m., fire crews were alerted to another fire in the Kahoma stream gulch on North Hopoe Place, burning two streets above the North Hakau fire. A Wailuku engine responded to that fire, along with the Lahaina engine company that was pulled out of a training class they were attending in Kahului. Before a fire engine could arrive, an off-duty firefighter was able to control the fire using fire hoses connected straight to a fire hydrant, that he retrieved from a fire crew two streets below. The Air 1 helicopter also helped to control and contain the third fire on North Hopoe Place. The Lahaina engine arrived at 12:17 p.m. and called the fire contained by 12:36 p.m., extinguished at 2:28 p.m. That fire burned a 2,000 square-foot area of brush in the Kahoma stream gulch to the rear of North Hopoe Place. No structures were damaged and no injuries reported. Fire companies from Wailuku, Napili, Lahaina, Kahului, Kihei and Wailea responded to the incidents in West Maui. Fire investigators still haven’t determined the cause of the third fire.
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