Fire destroys Lawai home

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Big rigs remain in place Thursday while police re-route traffic off Kaumualii Highway because of a house fire at the junction of Kuli Road and Kaumualii Highway in Lawai.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A friend approaches to help firefighters lug hoses Thursday following the extinguishing of a house fire located at the junction of Kuli Road and Kaumualii Highway in Lawai.

  • Courtesy County of Kauai

    Kauai firefighters battle a blaze at a home located at the junction of Kuli Road and Kaumualii Highway in Lawai Thursday afternoon.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A Kauai Fire Department firefighter emerges from the burnt remains of a house fire Thursday afternoon as water from the firefighting efforts cascades off the second story of the two-story home located at the junction of Kuli Road and Kaumualii Highway in Lawai.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kauai Fire Deparatment firefighters wrap up after extinguishing a house fire located at the junction of Kuli Road and Kaumual‘i Highway in Lawai Thursday afternoon.

LAWAI — A female neighbor escaped unharmed Thursday when a structure fire broke out at a home at the junction of Kuli Road and Kaumualii Highway.

“I don’t really know what happened,” said Michelle Acosta, a neighbor of the house that was considered a total loss from the blaze. “I was watching TV when I started hearing these cracking noises like firecrackers. When I went out to check, it was the electrical that was making the noises. I went out more and saw the flames underneath the two-story house.”

Firefighters from Hanapepe, Kalaheo, and Lihue fire stations were dispatched to the scene about 1:45 p.m., arriving to the building fully engulfed in heavy smoke and flames.

“I was screaming my guts,” Acosta said. “The police came and told me I had to leave because there were bullets and I got more scared. But after I saw the flames underneath the home, I got my own water hose and started wetting down the goats — they had pet goats — the palm trees, and even my own house.” The fire was deemed under control and extinguished shortly following 2:45 p.m., and firefighters remained on scene to mop up and extinguish hot spots.

“I saw owners come running from another neighbor’s house,” Acosta said. “I was relieved to see them because that meant they were safe. But I think their dogs, a cat, and some chickens didn’t make it. This is not the way you want to start a new year.”

During the incident, police closed Kaumualii Highway between Kuli and Lauoho roads and assisted with traffic control.

Cost of damages were not available, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross are assisting the displaced family of the home.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

3 Comments
  1. ruthann jones January 4, 2019 8:48 am Reply

    of course ‘neighbor escaped unharmed’! It wasn’t her house that burned.


    1. manongindashadow January 4, 2019 11:52 am Reply

      It wasn’t her house true. But she might have been renting a downstairs apt/ studio.


  2. manongindashadow January 4, 2019 11:49 am Reply

    Is that a Navy Pilot lend a helping hand with the fire hoses? If so, “he thanks for you service for going beyond your line of duty!”


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