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Kea'au Information Update # 2 for December 3rd, 2020

Fire damages a commercial structure and recycling equipment at a business in the Shipman Industrial Area late Thursday afternoon (December 3rd).

Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Hilo) Team

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) responded to a report of a commercial structure fire at a business in the Shipman Industrial Area in Kea'au, Puna reported late Thursday afternoon (December 3rd).

The initial call came in at 4:32 pm Thursday afternoon and HFD Crews from the Kea'au, Paradise Park, Haihai, and Kaumana (HAZ-MAT Company 4) Fire Stations along with Battalion 1 and HPD Officers from the Puna Patrol responded to the scene located at 16-600 block of Kipimana Street in the Shipman Industrial Area.

Upon the arrival of emergency crews, reports came in from bystanders reporting a fire had started in a commercial storage/garage structure (described as being 20'x20' in size) was fully engulfed in flames with numerous small explosions heard. Workers at the facility also reported vehicles, oil, tires, and gasoline were stored in the structure and in the vicinity of the structure as well. Black smoke was visible throughout the Kea'au, Pana'ewa, and Hilo areas.

Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD crews found the structure fully involved with heavy black smoke billowing from the fire, HFD crews went into a defensive mode, using ground lines and monitors, to extinguish the fire from a safe distance due to the hazards with chemicals involved. Crews also work to protect a nearby fuel storage tank approximately 30-feet from the structure involved. HFD HAZ-MAT Team from Kaumana was also dispatched and on standby at the scene, while crews continued with firefighting efforts.

HFD crews had the fire under control just after 6:00 pm Thursday evening and began wet down and mop-up operations at the scene. The fire was declared extinguished at 7:43 pm Thursday evening and the scene was turned over to HFD Fire Inspector to begin an investigation into the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported and the fire caused extensive damage to a large garage/storage building as well as recycling equipment and vehicles within the structure. A nearby storage container was also damaged in the fire.

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