Home video captured Friday’s fire at the townhomes at Kulana Village. It shows the massive flames and thick, black smoke filling the air.
Honolulu Fire Department officials say eight families were displaced and that six units are considered unlivable.
The fire started in Building U in unit No. 3. The family who lives there says they weren’t home at the time, but their two dogs were. One of them didn’t make it out alive.
On Saturday, many people returned to their homes, sorting through whatever was left.
One family showed us the damage to their master bedroom. Luckily for them, most of their home is still intact and no valuables were lost.
“What we lost, what we lost, Jesus always bless us with more after,” said resident Darryl Yorong.
“We feel more hurt and sad for our neighbor. All our neighbors that are displaced. We feel very bad for them because it’s totally burned. Ours is still good,” said resident Camilla Santa Monica-Yorong.
Despite the big setback, they continue to move forward.
“We just gonna take one day at a time. And you have to remain positive. You have to otherwise it will just tear you apart,” said Santa Monica-Yorong. “Our community is so awesome, especially our church community. They’re so awesome. They’re helping money wise, and food, and shelter. They’re offering their homes. And so with that support system, you can move forward.”
Walter Lyles lives two doors down.
“Me and my wife were sleeping and we heard the crackling and the gas and my wife actually woke me up screaming, ‘Fire! Fire! Get out!'” Lyles said.
The flames didn’t reach their home, but the heavy smoke did.
“Right now, it’s kind of hard to deal with the smell and smoke. So right now it’s a lot of residue on the ceilings and in the carpet. So we’ve been airing out since yesterday and it’s just unbearable to live in. Plus, I got little kids. So it’s just best to kind of move out and live with family,” Lyles said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Damage to the homes and their contents are estimated at $648,000.