Fire guts Kalaheo home

LIHUE — A man fled his Kalaheo home as it was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze broke out near the entrance of the one-bedroom home at Ai Road about 3:40 p.m., said county spokeswoman Sarah Blane.

A man and a woman lived in the home, she said. They had multiple pets, including a cat, dog, bird and a rabbit. The man was in the house at the time that the fire broke out, but he escaped without injury, she said. The woman was not home.

About 20 firefighters from Lihue, Hanapepe, Koloa, and Kalaheo stations responded to the fire, which caused an estimated $175,000 in damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Blane said Kauai Coffee Company helped provide water to control the blaze, which was out by 4:20 p.m.

“The rabbit was later located by firefighters alive in a back room and returned to the homeowner,” Blane said. “I don’t know the status of the other pets. They had not been located by the time they left the scene.”

American Red Cross volunteers assisted the victims by providing clothes and housing.

“Most of the families are pretty devastated just for the fact there is a huge change that just happened,”said Padraic Gallagher of the Red Cross on Kauai.

Red Cross provided the family with a place to stay for the night, he said.

The next step is to follow-up with the family in the next few weeks and provide assistance and guidance. Red Cross assistance can last for months, he said, but it depends on the needs of the family.

Gallagher encouraged families to check their fire alarms, especially during October, which is Fire Prevention Month.

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