Featured Articles

‘Squatter Haven’ in HPP Goes up in Flames

November 19, 2019, 8:20 AM HST
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

Structure Fire. Big Island Now stock photo.

Firefighters spent nearly three hours Monday night dousing a blaze that started within a home in Kea‘au, which authorities described as “a haven for squatters.”

The Hawai‘i Fire Department received a call at 8:32 p.m. reporting a two-story structure on fire in Hawaiian Paradise Park (HPP).

Three engine companies from Lower Puna, volunteers from HPP and a tanker and rescue/ladder company from Hilo responded to the scene to fight the flames, which burned on both stories of the 4,314-square foot home. There are no fire hydrants in the area.

HFD reported that the owner of the home, which was built in 1991, died earlier this year. Since then, authorities said, squatters have repeatedly ransacked the home and its contents.

After extinguishing the flames at 11:15 p.m., with the structure still intact, investigators entered the home to search for the origin of the fire. They found that the electricity to the dwelling had been disconnected.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Six Hawai‘i Police Department officers also responded to the scene to provide security and investigative services, while one HELCO employee was dispatched to de-energize power lines to the home.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Losses were estimated at $431,400. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.