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.
Parts of Moloka’i, including Kalaupapa, were without power Saturday after an SUV struck a utility pole along the Kalae Highway in Upcountry Moloka’i.
According to Maui Fire officials, at about 7:04 p.m. firefighters from Makawao were called to the course after reports of a fire on the driving range. When crews arrived minutes later, they found a cart in flames.
An attendant was gathering golf balls on the driving range when he smelled smoke. When he stopped to investigate, flames erupted from under the seat.
He was not injured and crews doused the fire quickly. Damage was estimated at $8,000.
At 5:44 p.m. Monday, firefighters from Lahaina and Napili were dispatched to what was initially called in as a fire to storage containers behind the Lahaina Aquatic Center on Shaw Street.
Upon arrival of Lahaina Engine 3, it was discovered that the fire was actually burning in an area of brush approximately 600 square feet located behind the Aquatic Center. Engine 3 was able to quickly contain the fire and it was called extinguished at 6:12 p.m. There were no injuries reported and the cause of this fire remains undetermined.
Wailuku firefighters arrived at 11:21 a.m. and saw smoke coming from the rear portion of the single-story residence. Crews found a room towards the back of the home on fire and were able to contain it to the room of origin four minutes later. It was called extinguished at 12:50 p.m.
A female occupant was home at the time and smelled smoke in the house. She evacuated the home after walking into a room used as a business office and finding the air conditioning unit on fire. Two people occupied the home and have been temporarily displaced. They are being assisted by friends and neighbors.
Cause of the fire remains under investigation. Damages were estimated at $50,000 to the structure and $20,000 to its contents. There were no injuries.
Three fire crews from Wailuku and Kahului responded to the incident.
Less than two hours later, at 1:03 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters responded to a brush fire on Lipoa Parkway, near the Maui High Tech Park, in Kihei. Kihei firefighters arrived at 1:10 p.m. and found about a half-acre of grass on fire. Workers from Goodfellow Brothers Construction were cutting a firebreak around the fire with a front loader and containing the fire spread with a water truck. They happened to be nearby when the fire started and quickly jumped into action. The fire was contained five minutes later and called extinguished at 2:05 p.m.
Cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. Workers were dismantling old photovoltaic panels when they accidentally started the fire. When workers lifted a special magnifying lens used in the panels from the ground, it immediately set the grass on fire. A slight breeze quickly fanned the flames and it got away from workers.
Luckily, a construction crew from Goodfellow Brothers was nearby to assist. No were no injuries or structures damaged. Crews from Kihei and Wailea responded to the incident.
An otherwise quiet afternoon fired up again in the evening. At about 7:21 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters responded to a structure fire on Ulupua Place, in Spreckelsville.
Paia firefighters arrived at 7:26 p.m. and saw flames and smoke coming from the garage area of the single-story residence. Crews had the fire under control by 8:03 p.m., and contained it to the garage area of the home. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours completing extinguishment operations.
A female occupant was at home when the fire broke out. She smelled smoke and heard popping sounds coming from the garage. That’s when she called 911 and evacuated the home. Two other people living in the home were at a next door neighbor’s house at the time. Three people have been temporarily displaced and are staying with neighbors.
Cause of the fire is yet unknown, as fire investigators are still on scene investigating. Damages are unavailable at this time. There were no injuries or damages to neighboring structures.
Five fire companies and a water tanker from Paia, Kahului, Makawao, and Wailuku responded to the incident.
Copyright © 2015 - Island News Technologies, LLC - All rights reserved