UPDATE: Fire Destroys Pāhoa Landmarks
Video taken by Clive Cardozo of Pāhoa using a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone.
UPDATE: Jan. 18
Pāhoa Government Road has reopened.
ORIGINAL POST: Jan. 17
At 7:11 a.m., on Monday, Jan. 16., firefighters responded to an early-morning fire on Pāhoa Valley Road.
Hawai‘i Island fire personnel arrived on the scene to find smoke and fire coming from the back of the Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant building, adjacent to Akebono Theater and smoke coming from the windows of Luquin’s buildings on the Pāhoa Village Road-side.
Three commercial properties were involved in the fire, including historic Akebono Theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial property built in 1938 and a large multi-use residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s Restaurant, built in 1907.
The Red Cross reports that the fire destroyed four apartment residences.
Fire was brought under control at 2:45 a.m.
An extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued.
Pāhoa Government Road was closed from Kaleo’s Restaurant to the Pāhoa Community Center on Kauhale Street.
At 6 p.m. Monday night, Hawai‘i Police Department reported that Pāhoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through this afternoon, Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Hawai‘i Fire Department remained on scene overnight to monitor any flare ups that might occur.
Big Island Red Cross volunteers are providing assistance to those displaced by the fire. The Red Cross also set up a canteen for first responders and displaced residents.
“Our community is amazingly resilient with an abundance of aloha,” said Leilani Estates resident Clive Cardozo, who provided Bin Island Now with video footage. “When Hurricane Iselle hit in 2014, we all pulled together to help each other. When Madam Pele gave us that big scare, we all banded together to console and assist our neighbors to prepare.
“I have lived all over the world and have never felt as strong a community bond as I do here in Puna,” Cardozo said. “So we will get through this. The wound is still very fresh, so we are still hurting and I am sure I speak for all our citizens when I say our hearts, thoughts and prayers are for all those affected. And our gratitude goes out to the brave fire fighters who kept this tragedy from spreading.”
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Anyone with photos of the fire or its aftermath can email them to [email protected].