KAHULUI – Maui Fire Department investigators poring over a house fire that left 11 people with no home Monday say they have no indicators at this point that the fire was caused by arson.
At 11:16 a.m. Monday morning firefighters responded to a two-alarm residential structure fire on Kea St. in Kahului. Kahului firefighters arrived at 11:23 a.m. and found the single-story residence on Kea St. fully engulfed by flames. Fire crews went to a defensive strategy and began protecting neighboring homes from igniting. The home next door caught on fire but firefighters were able to stop it before it spread.
Initial arriving police officers were able to free a woman trapped in the backyard by the heat and flames. They broke through a neighbor’s fence to rescue her. She escaped without injuries.
The woman and two other adults were home at the time the fire broke out. It’s still unknown what started the blaze and remains under investigation. The Red Cross assisted the occupants that included six adults and five children displaced by the fire.
Damages were estimated at $500,000 to the structure and $100,000 to contents. A neighboring home sustained minor exterior damages estimated at $10,000. No injuries were reported.
Fire crews from Wailuku, Paia, Makawao, Kihei and Wailea also responded.
HONOLULU – The Coast Guard continues searching for a missing mariner after the fishing vessel he was aboard capsized approximately one mile west of Lanai, Sunday. As of 4:30 p.m. today, the Coast Guard said their search would continue.
However, at 6:30 this evening, Maui Fire Department made their last attempt to find Ron Ingraham. They said they will not resume efforts unless new developments occur.
Maui firefighters have been busy in the last 24 hours. A five-acre blaze that may have been an “unscheduled cane burn” was called in Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. And today, Gene Simmons’ new restaurant, Rock and Brews in Pa’ia was damaged by smoke and flames.
In the fire Thursday night, Kahului firefighters arrived about 15 minutes later and found grass and brush on fire off South Firebreak road, next to Hawaiian Cement. The fire was reported by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. security that was patrolling the area. About five acres of grass and brush were burned. No damages to structures or injuries were reported.
Firefighters from Kahului, Kihei, and two fire department water tankers responded. HC&S also assisted by sending two water tankers. The fire was contained by 11:54 p.m. and called extinguished at 2:26 a.m. this morning. A fire investigator was called out and the incident remains under investigation.
Then today, at 11:11 a.m., firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at the Rock & Brews restaurant, at 120 Hana Highway in Paia.
Paia firefighters were on scene two minutes later and saw light smoke coming from the restaurant. Employees reported hearing a loud pop then saw smoke in the air. Everyone had been evacuated by the time firefighters arrived.
Investigation found that the fire sprinklers had been activated in the attic space above the restaurant. Fire crews quickly entered the ceiling area and had the fire extinguished by 11:27 a.m.
Paia Fire Capt., Ben Bland, said “It’s a true testament that fire sprinklers really do work and can make a difference to extinguish or slow a fire until fire department crews arrive. Fire sprinklers effectively prevented this fire from spreading throughout the attic and to the rest of the building.”
The fire was determined to be accidental and caused by a fault in electrical wiring. Damages were estimated at $10,000 to structure, $10,000 to contents. No injuries were reported.
Five fire units from Paia, Makawao, Kahului, Kihei and a Battalion Chief responded.
Anyone having information about last night’s fire or any other fire is asked to call Captain Paul Haake, at the Fire Prevention Bureau, 244-9161, extension 23.
KAHULUI, MAUI – The Department of Fire & Public Safety and the Fire & Public Safety Commission are proud to announce this year’s recipients of the Kahuola Awards. The recipients were presented with their awards during the Fire & Public Safety Commission’s monthly meeting on March 12, 2015. Kahuola Awards have been given to individuals within the County of Maui who have demonstrated heroic acts to save a life. Each award is hand-crafted by local ukulele crafter Leroy Hokoana. Since its creation in 2004, there have only been sixteen recipients of this prestigious award.
Taje Akaka-Foster was 15 years old on July 27, 2014 when he witnessed an elderly man fall into the ocean off of Kamaole Beach Park. Akaka-Foster, with the assistance of his younger brother Chayce, managed to pull the struggling man out of the water and onto the rocks where another witness performed CPR on the victim. “Taje demonstrated skill and courage while performing this selfless act. His actions gave this man, a complete stranger, every chance for survival,” said Fire Fighter Jeffrey Robson in his nomination.
Deputy Corporation Counsel James Giroux was involved in a tragic plane crash on the island of Lana’i on February 26, 2014, which involved five County of Maui employees and the pilot of their chartered plane. Although sustaining injuries from the crash, Giroux managed to pull two of his coworkers from the burning plane, saving their lives. He also contacted emergency services personnel and directed them to the area of the plane crash. “Mr. Giroux, acting without regard for his own safety, returned to the wreckage not once, but twice, to rescue and render assistance to his injured colleagues. His actions that day were truly heroic.” said Gen Iinuma in his nomination.
The final recipient of this year’s award was Fire Fighter II James Owen Deatrick, who was off-duty on October 4, 2014 when he witnessed a brutal stabbing at his housing complex. Deatrick subdued the assailant and provided medical attention to the victim until the arrival of emergency services personnel.
Fire & Public Safety Commission Chair William “Butch” Soares said “We are pleased and proud to recognize these three outstanding citizens that took action to save another’s life. It shows that we have caring, positive-action members within our County and honoring them is a small reward for their actions. Three young men with great values and sense of being.”
“The Department lauds these heroic men for their extraordinary actions to save someone else’s life. Without regard for their own safety, these men put their own lives in harm’s way, to save the life of another. Their actions exemplify great heroism, and we are proud to be able to recognize them for their courage and selflessness,” said Fire Chief Jeff Murray.
To find out more about the Kahuola Awards program, or to find out how to submit a nomination, please visit our website for details or contact the Fire Chief’s Office at (808) 270-7561.
By Jeff King
A 31 year-old man is in stable condition today after he fell 200 feet down a cliff near Kauiki Hill (also known as Red Sand Beach) Thursday afternoon.
Maui Police say officers, Maui Fire Department personnel and medics responded to a 4:42 p.m. call near Hana for a man who had reportedly taken that huge plunge. The caller, a 48 year-old Hana man, was with the victim but providing “very vague directions” to their location, according to the report. Working with the dispatcher, MFD rescuers were able to determine the general area and followed a trail to a homeless camp over Kauiki Hill. There, they located the caller and the victim.
The victim was suffering from an open head wound and altered mental status. During his contact with fire department personnel the victim became very combative and was refusing all help. Due to safety concerns and the risk of injury to first responders it was determined that Maui Police patrol personnel from the Hana district would be flown into the camp site with fire personnel via Air One.
As additional fire support hiked in and met the victim he calmed down and eventually agreed to be airlifted out of the campsite to Hana Ball Field. MPD and MFD personnel were flown into the area by Air One where police made contact with the caller and victim. With police on scene at the camp site, the victim agreed to be airlifted out of the area by fire personnel. The victim was airlifted out of the area by MFD to the Hana Ball Field where he was treated by awaiting medics from Hana and transported to an awaiting medevac. The victim was flown to Maui Memorial Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and an altered mental status.
Following the victims transport to MMMC, MFD personnel flew back into the area and were able to successfully fly Maui Police patrol personnel back to the Hana Ball Field.
The entire rescue operation was a coordinated cooperative effort involving Maui Fire Department, American Medical Response (Medics), and Maui Police Department.
MAKENA – At about 2:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Wailea firefighters responded to an exhausted hiker near La Perouse bay, at Keonioio in south Maui.
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