Children’s action keeps fire in check

HANAMA’ULU — Quick action by children playing in the area kept a brush fire in Hanama’ulu from getting bigger Sunday.

Two children who were playing at the end of Hanama’ulu Road saw the blaze and reported it to their father, who phoned in the 911 call about 11:30 a.m. yesterday, Kaua’i Fire Department firefighters said.

They also told their father that they had seen two boys with backpacks leave the area just before seeing the fire.

Neil Rapozo, a resident near the end of Hanama’ulu Road, said he was polishing his daughter’s pickup in his garage when he smelled smoke, and when he went outside to check, he saw debris falling from the air.

Members of fire crews from the KFD Lihu’e fire station responded with their big tanker truck, as well as the smaller firefighting pumper, accessing the blaze through an access gate near King Kaumuali’i Elementary School.

As the crews worked to contain the blaze in the empty lot situated between the Hanama’ulu residential area and the Lihu’e gateway project on Kapule Highway, some residents in Hanama’ulu climbed atop their roofs for better views of the firefighting efforts that took place behind a screen of koa haole trees.

An access road between the guinea and buffalo grass helped keep the blaze from endangering nearby homes, and the quick action of the two youngsters accounted for the prompt response by members of the fire crews, who had the blaze under control shortly after noon.

There were no injuries, and no property damage, said KFD Battalion Chief Shawn Hosaka.

October is Fire Prevention Month, with students in schools getting instruction and demonstrations in fire prevention as well as fire safety.

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