HFD: 15 displaced after Kalihi house fire

The Honolulu Fire Department responded to a cooking-related fire that caused heavy damage to the bottom floor of a three-story home in Kapalama Monday night.

HFD were called to a home on Hala Drive near Houghtailing Street at about 9:30 p.m.

When firefighters got to the scene, they saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the bottom floor and began a rapid interior fire attack.

Officials say the fire began in a kitchen on the bottom floor where a resident was heating oil to fry food. The oil overheated and began to burn. The resident attempted to use a fire extinguisher to control the fire, which caused the fire to spread throughout the kitchen. The fire then grew and spread through half the bottom floor before it was contained by firefighters.

Firefighters had the flames under control at about 9:45 p.m. and extinguished just after 10:30 p.m.

The fire displaced 15 residents of the house, most from smoke that made it unsafe to remain in the parts of the house not damaged by heat or flames.

Most of the residents were home at the time of the fire. All escaped without injury.

Damage is estimated at $185,000 to the structure and its contents.

The cause of the fire is classified as accidental.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents with their immediate emergency needs for shelter, clothing, and food.

HFD wants to remind the public to always have a lid to cover a pan or pot that is used to heat oil. Slide the lid to cover the top of a pot or pan that has burning cooking oil inside which will smother the fire. Never shoot a fire extinguisher or water into a container of burning cooking oil as it will splatter and spread the fire outside of the pot.

If that were to occur, or if the lid cannot be used to adequately cover the burning container of oil, exit the kitchen immediately, making sure that all others in the structure are aware of the fire and call the fire department once safely outside of the burning structure.

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