Lihue couple escapes house fire

LIHUE — A Lihue couple were forced to evacuate their two-story home after it caught fire Wednesday afternoon.

The 51-year-old woman and 48-year-old man whose last name is Lau were inside their 4,500-square-feet home on the 2900 block of Ohiohi Street when the blaze started about 1:30 p.m.

Neither were injured.

Damage was estimated at $90,000, which includes the structure and personal belongings.

Richie Gano, a neighbor and longtime resident on Ohiohi Street, said he had stopped at home when he saw the firetrucks and smoke down the street.

“At first I didn’t think much of it, I was just coming home from work and then had to go,” he said. “But it must have been big. There were two trucks. First there was the one, then another one came. That’s when I knew.”

Gano said the smoke was coming from the back of the house.

“I could see the smoke from the fire from above the Ha Coffee Bar as we were responding,” said Paki Vaughn, fire inspector for the Kauai Fire Department.

Firefighters from Lihue and Kapaa fire stations responded.

The fire burned the inside of the house on the bottom floor and on the roof, and caused smoke damage. The fire reached an area of about 750 square feet.

It was contained around 2 p.m. and completely extinguished by 2:50.

The couple said their pet cat survived the fire.

Volunteers with the Hawaii Red Cross responded and met with the affected residents to ensure that immediate emergency needs were met and provided assistance with temporary housing, bedding, transportation, clothing, food and groceries.

Caseworkers will continue to follow up in the coming weeks to provide referrals, guidance or additional assistance.

An investigation continues.


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