Community concerns rise after illegal firework sparks roof fire in Waipio

Loud booms usually mean one thing this time of year, illegal fireworks, and people are already hearing plenty of them.

Last week, firefighters put out a roof fire at a home in Waipio. Investigators said an illegal firework landing on the roof caused the blaze.

A man who goes by “Namu” lives two doors down. He said he heard a boom so loud that car alarms went off, then smelled what he thought was a barbecue.

“Then the next thing I know, my kid came running down the street. He said, ‘Dad, the house stay burning,'” said Namu, “I went straight in the house, make sure nobody was in, and then we shut off the electric and then the firemen came.”

Some of the neighbors on the street tried to extinguish the fire with garden hoses.

The Honolulu Fire Department said someone was inside the home at the time of the fire, but no one was hurt. A blue tarp now covers the damaged roof.

Namu says there are plenty of illegal fireworks that go off in his neighborhood, and he’s concerned.

“We don’t know where it’s coming from, but the thing is where is it going to land? And that’s the hard part,” said Namu.

We asked Honolulu police how many calls of illegal fireworks it received recently, but the department has yet to give us that number. A spokeswoman said she will give KHON2 that information on Wednesday.

We reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to find out if any illegal fireworks were seized so far this year at our harbors. The agency has not returned our calls at this time.


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