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Pahoa Information Update for May 22nd, 2020

Fire damages an unpermitted structure in the Nanawale Estates subdivision late Friday morning (May 22nd).

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 residential structure fire in the Nanawale Estates subdivision in Pahoa late Friday morning (May 22nd).

The initial call came in at 11:48 am Friday morning and HFD crews from the Pahoa, Paradise Park, Kea'au, and Central Fire Stations along with Battalion 1, volunteers from the Ainaloa Station, and HPD officers from the Puna Patrol responded to the scene located at the 14-3200 block of Maunakea Road in Nanawale Estates in Pahoa.

Upon the arrival of emergency crews, 911 calls were coming from numerous residents in the area for a report of loud explosions heard in the area, and also heavy smoke was visible in the area of Maunakea Road in Nanawale Estates. A call came in from the occupant of the residence that structure was on fire and a dog was reported to be missing at the time of the fire.

Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, they found an approximate 20'x30' unpermitted structure fully engulfed in flames with partial roof collapse along with several vehicles on the property in flames as well. HFD crews immediately worked to gain control of the fire and prevent further spread.

HFD crews encountered several challenges while battling this fire:

  • Due to numerous abandoned items and also vehicles on the property, it made it challenging for HFD personnel to extinguish the blaze and required multiple personnel to assist with overhaul and salvaging operations.

  • The terrain (uneven with lava tubes) of the property made it very difficult for HFD personnel to navigate the property to extinguish the fire.

  • Construction of the residence also made it difficult for HFD crews to ensure full extinguishment of the fire.

HFD crews had the fire under control 12:15 pm Friday afternoon and the fire was declared out at 1:45 pm Friday afternoon.

No injuries were reported and the dog initially missing was found a short time later after the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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