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.