Fire destroys Waipahu home

Waipahu house fire

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It was a busy day for Honolulu firefighters.

They rushed to Wahiawa to battle a military burn that quickly got out of hand then crews were sent to a fire that destroyed a home in Waipahu.

The Wahiawa fire is now contained. But earlier Thursday afternoon, it was out of control.

It was a scheduled burn by the U.S. Army, but the winds caused the flames to spread, damaging a total of 200 acres before crews got a handle on it.

Then at around 4:30 p.m., a blaze consumed a home in Waipahu, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

The homeowner had just moved out of the house and said there were vagrants that lingered in the area.

But Honolulu Fire Department officials say it’s too early to call it suspicious and will be conducting a full investigation.

Neighbors were left in shock after seeing the house on Leowaena Street go up in flames within minutes.

“I got up and I looked out the house and it was crazy fire,” witness Sharlene Mandril said.

“It was big. It was really big,” witness Morgan Hoff said.

Flames were shooting out the roof and then the entire house began to buckle

“I seen the roof collapsed it just caved in. That was it,” Mandril said.

The flames then creeped dangerously close to the homes next door.

“The wind was blowing this way it ended up catching that house,” Mandril said.

Eugene Moniz described the horror as he tried to protect his home from the flames.

“It was burning over there, tried to shoot them with the water hose. Couldn’t stop them,” Moniz said.

He showed KHON2 his son’s room that went up in smoke.

Firefighters arrived and were able to keep the fire from spreading to the rest of his home.

“Yeah, it was scary. It was crazy,” Moniz said.

The owner of the home says she and her family just moved out a month ago and had plans to sell it.

Every day she came back to check on it and she had just left when she started getting calls that her house was on fire.

“It was gone already. It was still on fire though,” homeowner Taira Proctor said.

Because there’s little left standing, fire investigators will be searching through the rubble to find out exactly where and how the fire started.

“Going to have to come back tomorrow after doing the initial site visit ,return when there’s daylight,” Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig said.

“I’m glad that no one got hurt. It was so scary,” Hoff said.

“I feel better that nobody got hurt, but I don’t know what we’re going to do with all this damage,” Moniz said.

Damage is estimated at $335,000.

The American Red Cross is helping the displaced families.

Related story: Military fire burns out of control in Wahiawa

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