Fire destroys remote Palolo home with fuel, ammunition

A home deep in Palolo was completely destroyed by a two-alarm fire Tuesday.

The initial alarm came in at 10:43 a.m. from Lai Road.

Fire officials say crews had trouble reaching the home, as it was only accessible by a private road and small bridge, which was unable to hold the weight of the heavy fire trucks.

Instead, firefighters walked to the scene with fire extinguishers. By the time they got there, flames had engulfed about half the home.

Fire officials say a 78-year-old man and his dog were home at the time. Both escaped unharmed.

The man told firefighters that he stored large amounts of ammunition, along with fuel for camping, which triggered small explosions during the fire.

“With that information, with the increased hazard, firefighters determined not to go into the building and maintained a safe distance of approximately 200 yards,” said HFD Capt. David Jenkins. “We then used Air 1 to perform water drops on the building and surrounding area to contain the fire to the property.”

Crews waited outside until it was deemed safe to enter. The fire was fully extinguished by nightfall.

The home is considered a total loss.

At the request of the fire department, Hawaiian Electric shut off power to the area for safety reasons. Twelve homes were affected.

The American Red Cross is assisting the resident.

Fire officials urge residents who live in hard-to-reach areas to install residential home sprinklers.

“It’s like having a firefighter in the home already,” Jenkins explained. “The sprinklers can start extinguishing the fire way before the fire department gets there, and brings a possibility of damages to a minimum.”



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