‘God, what am I going to do?’

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Eleele resident Sheena Raposas looks around the outside of her home following a fire there Tuesday morning.

ELEELE — Most days, Sheena Raposas sleeps late after coming home from work at Koloa Landing. But on Tuesday, she said her 3-year-old daughter kept bothering her to get up early, so she did.

Turned out to be a good thing.

The two were in their living room relaxing together while watching “The Incredibles” movie while eating breakfast, when a fire broke out in the rear of the house.

“If you ever watch The Incredibles movie, there’s a lot of fires, these superheros are saving people, so glass is breaking, fire alarms are on, you know, the beeping, so that’s going on while my room was already on fire,” she said.

When she realized their own fire alarm was beeping, she went to investigate.

“I start to follow where the noise is coming from the smoke detectors because I know mine wasn’t working, the battery was out. So I go in my mom’s room and I’m like, oh, maybe she left her iron on,” she said.

It was then she saw smoke, but didn’t know where it was coming from.

“So I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, it smells like an electrical fire,’” she said

She quickly went to find her daughter and as she passed her bedroom, she saw that it was in flames, there was smoke everywhere and the glass was broken.

Her first thought was to call 911, but her phone was on her bed.

“Inside I’m like praying, ‘God, what am I going to do?’ you don’t ever think of these things happening to you,” she said.

It was then the smoke started filling the living room and Raposas said she thought her daughter had gone to the back of the house to look for her and she started screaming her daughter’s name.

“She was hiding underneath her play horse. So quickly I grab her, we get the dogs out, we’re running outside. I was in my pajamas so I had a towel around my waist, I get outside and thankfully my neighbor was home,” she said

The neighbor called 911. Raposas couldn’t because her phone was already destroyed in the fire.

“Then we start to hear glass breaking, boom, boom, flames was just coming from the roof and we were just hiding out at my neighbor’s house and the fire trucks just came so fast and this whole time I’m just shaking in disbelief that it’s happening, you know, just a normal day,” she said.

After the fire was extinguished, Raposas said fire investigators came and haven’t been able to figure out what triggered the fire, but she said the fire did come from her room where on any normal day, she would have been sleeping.

“I just came back from trying to salvage things in the house and my room is completely just ashes to ashes. Just gone. Everything, from the roof to the windows, it doesn’t even look like my house,” she said.

Fire inspectors estimate the blaze caused $300,000 in damages to the three-bedroom home.

Raposas, who has lived in the house since she was about four years old, said she feels crushed about the fire.

“A lot of sentimental things, but it’s a new start. I’m a believer of God and I know he’s still in control,” she said.

Of being up earlier than usual, Raposas says, “praise God,”

“I’m serious. Usually I’m sleeping, but just this morning she kept waking me up,” she said. “She just kept bothering me, so I was like, all right, I’m just going to get up, so I got up and we didn’t even know it was happening.”

Hanapepe firefighters were first on scene shortly after 10 a.m. and found flames coming from one of the bedrooms of the single-story home. They were soon joined by personnel from the Kalaheo and Waimea fire stations.

The fire was brought under control in minutes and fully extinguished by about 10:30 a.m.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross are assisting the displaced family. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa and Koloa Landing have offered to help house the family for several nights.

  1. ruthann jones September 5, 2018 9:44 am Reply

    God would prefer if you had kept a functioning battery in your smoke alarm!

    1. Michelle September 5, 2018 10:26 pm Reply

      Seriously? I mean really, how many people do you think in this whole wide world remembers to put fresh batteries in their smoke alarms the minute it goes out? Everyone? With all things going on in our daily lives, it could get real easy to bypass the need to replace a battery in your smoke alarm. And yes, while it is very important, we are humans and we make mistakes. Would God have “preferred” her to put new batteries in her alarm? Most likely. But obviously he can’t be the one to physically put a battery in, inspect it for her and say “Welp! That should do it! I know you didn’t get around to it, so this one’s on me.” The freedom to choose, remember? And while this is a terrible situation, I fully believe God was there to protect them during a time like this and by the glory of God, they were able to escape in time, unharmed. Through Him, they’ll find a way through this indefinitely, with better days ahead.

    2. God September 5, 2018 10:27 pm Reply

      I prefer you find love and compassion in your life.
      “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” -Proverbs 11:2

  2. Joe Public September 5, 2018 9:59 am Reply

    Do the Fire Inspectors ever figure out any cause of fires that have happened on Kauai? If not, eliminate their positions and save the tax payers money.

  3. Katalika September 6, 2018 10:19 pm Reply

    Who can say that if the fire detector worked in her room as well as the other room that the fire would have been stopped before destroying the house? God will give them beauty for ashes because it’s very evident in the way she speaks that she loves, respects, and belongs to Him. Just wait and see how His grace fixes this. This family will end up victorious. Let’s help them.

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