Fire destroys Wailua Houselots home

WAILUA — A fire erupted yesterday morning at 396 Pua Road, destroying a three-bedroom Wailua Houselots home and forcing its long-time residents to evacuate and seek medical attention.

The two occupants suffered smoke inhalation, officials said, but were treated and released at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

The residents, 86-year-old Juliet Manguchei and her 64-year-old son Leroy, are part of a family that had lived at the 1,000-sqare-foot, single-wall, redwood home for more than 57 years, county spokeswoman Mary Daubert said.

Fire officials estimate damages to the home, attached carport and contents, including a passenger vehicle and a small pick-up truck, to be about $400,000, she said.

No other structures were affected by the blaze.

Police dispatch was notified of the fire around 10:10 a.m., and 13 firefighters from the Kapa‘a and Lihu‘e stations responded in five vehicles: Engine 2, Truck 2, Engine 3, Rescue 3 and Truck 3.

A battalion chief and two fire inspectors also responded, Daubert said.

Police blocked off portions of Kula, Pua and Haleilio roads where live utility wires were touching the ground.

KIUC personnel were also at the scene for repair work and Public Works personnel were called to assist with maneuvering debris using heavy equipment, which greatly expedited fire fighting efforts, according to Daubert.

The fire, which is under investigation, was deemed under control at 10:55 a.m. and fully extinguished at 2 p.m. yesterday.

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