East Hawaii News

Blaze Engulfs Pepeʻekeo Apartment Building, Displacing Occupants

December 29, 2021, 4:04 PM HST
* Updated December 29, 4:05 PM
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A fire at about 10 a.m. Wednesday at a Pepeʻekeo apartment building has resulted in the displacement of the residents who called it home.

According to a press release from the Office of the Mayor, Hawaiʻi Fire Department responded to a structure fire at an apartment building comprised of four units and located off Andrade Road. The building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Two occupants were transported with non-life threatening injuries, and an additional 22 people were evacuated from the area. The blaze has been controlled, and firefighters remained on the scene to ensure no flareups occur.

“We were very lucky that there were no serious injuries or worse,” said Deputy Fire Chief Eric Moller. “This fire spread rapidly and could have had a much more serious outcome. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost so much, as we kindly remind everyone to limit their exposure to fires such as these by keeping their home fire safe.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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The county Department of Parks and Recreation opened a shelter at the Pāpaʻikou Community Center for the displaced families. The American Red Cross is at the scene providing care services. County Office of Housing and Community Development Administrator Susan Kunz is also working with her staff to find additional resources for the families affected.

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“It is important for our community to know that we have their back and that we are going to do everything that we possibly can to help them in times of crisis,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “To see how quickly and effectively our team worked across the board to ensure the best possible care for those affected is truly amazing. Having three very different departments come together to play their part in this response is something we can be proud of. Our hearts go out to those injured and displaced by the fire as we continue to work with them to find temporary and long-term solutions.”

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