Elderly woman escapes fully-engulfed home garage fire

Photo courtesy Chris Stankis

An elderly woman is safe after she escaped from a structure fire in Kihei thanks to good Samaritans.

At 2:16 p.m. Sunday, firefighters responded to a residential structure fire on Luakaha Circle in Kihei.

Kihei firefighters arrived at 2:23 p.m. and found the garage of a two-story fully engulfed in flames.

Crews brought the fire under control at 2:39 p.m. and extinguished it at 4:09 p.m.

An off-duty Maui firefighter, an off-duty Maui police officer and a bystander, were nearby and rushed to the home after noticing smoke and flames coming from the garage. They entered the home and made a quick search for anyone still inside. They came across an 84-year-old female sleeping in a bedroom and brought her out through a back door.

The woman was not injured.

The fire was determined to be accidental. The fire appears to be related to the disposal of a burned rag that was not completely extinguished before it was tossed in the trash and placed in the garage. The woman had caught a rag on fire while cooking earlier in the day and believed it was extinguished when she placed it in the trash.

Damages are estimated at $200,000 to the structure and $50,000 to contents, including a vehicle parked in the garage. The garage and vehicle were completely destroyed. The rest of the home was not damaged by fire, but did received some moderate smoke damage.

The woman will be staying with a family member until the home can be repaired.

The Hawaii Red Cross is assisting the woman with her immediate needs.

Photo courtesy Chris Stankis
Photo courtesy Chris Stankis

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