East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Good Samaritan Neighbor Dies

September 13, 2012, 10:21 AM HST
* Updated September 13, 3:25 PM
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Big Island police said an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death of a man who apparently died while trying to help his neighbor put out a kitchen fire.

Police said 69-year-old Gerald Erickson of Kamaoa Road in Waiohinu was called Wednesday night over to the home of his neighbor, Lui Salas, to assist him in extinguishing the fire.

As the home began to fill with smoke, Salas told Erickson to go outside and call 911.

A short time later, Salas went outside and found Erickson unresponsive and immediately began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Paramedics responding to an 8:34 p.m. call transported Erickson to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 3:30 a.m today.

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Officials said the fire was apparently started by a pot left unattended on a propane stove.

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A fire department spokesman said Salas and Erickson initially attempted to extinguish the fire with garden hoses.

Police said the home sustained approximately $50,000 in damage.

 

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