Firefighters contain Waipio brush fire

Courtesy: Jenny Chan
Courtesy: Jenny Chan

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Video courtesy: Bryn James

Photo Slideshow: Waipio Brush Fire

A large brush fire gave Waikele residents a scare Friday evening with flames coming dangerously close to their homes.

Witnesses say it spread quickly but firefighters got there in time to prevent any serious damage.

There was one resident who is especially grateful.

Thanks to a firebreak that cleared the brush next to her home Kim Garrett is breathing a sigh of relief.

Kim Garrett and friend Mitchell Keawe are feeling much better now, but when they pulled up and saw how close the flames were to her house, it was a different story.

“Yeah I thought wow this could be it already, the house could be going down,” Keawe said.

“It was terrifying the flames were very close.” Garrett said.

Witnesses say huge flames spread out from the Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park heading toward the brush next to the homes on Lumiauau Street in Waikele.

“The fire was raging right here and it was getting closer and closer to these houses toward this fence line. This is very dry weeds and brush that really catches on fire.I would say the flames were 15 to 20 feet high,” said Bryn James.

The Honolulu Fire Department says the fire started from the side of the park and and burned 40 acres of brush in the area. Firefighters got the emergency call at 3:30 p.m. and it took nearly two hours to contain it. Area residents watched anxiously as the flames approached the homes. None more nervous than Garrett who is grateful that the brush was just cleared next to her house, creating a firebreak.

“So we’re just thankful that this space was here between our house and the fire because before there was a lot of overgrown weeds here so the city has taken care of that just recently,” said Garrett.

She wasn’t just worried about her house though. Her dog Rusty was inside with no way of getting out. But her friend Mitchell got him out before she got home.

“I came closer and I saw the flames already right behind the house so I pulled in and oh I know she loves the dog so I might as well save the dog,” said Keawe.

Rusty was shaken up but he’s fine. Firefighters have left the scene. No word yet on what caused the fire.

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