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HPD: Several Residents Suffer Injuries Related to Pepe‘ekeō Structure Fire

December 30, 2021, 6:43 AM HST
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Several residents were treated after suffering injuries either from the flames or while trying to escape a Pepe‘ekeō apartment fire. The blaze impacted four families, totaling 24 people.

Courtesy of Hawaiʻi County

Hawaiʻi police responded to the structure fire at Kauhale Olu Apartments on Kumula Street at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29. When officers and fire emergency personnel arrived on scene, they found a two-story, four-unit apartment structure fully engulfed in flames. The fire was contained around 11:48 a.m.

Three separate families residing in the building were home at the time. Several people were treated for injuries:

  • A 70-year-old female was treated by HFD personnel on scene and released for minor scrapes to her arm from broken glass while evacuating the building.
  • A 38-year-old female injured her back jumping from a two-story window to the ground to escape the fire. She is listed in stable condition at the hospital. Her three children, a 14-year-old female, nine-year-old female, and a six-year-old female were treated for smoke inhalation and released.
  • A 30-year-old male sustained burns and scrapes from the fire and was transported to the hospital where he was treated and later released.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross also responded to the apartment fire and met with families impacted by the blaze. Six Red Cross disaster volunteers are meeting with affected residents to ensure their immediate emergency needs for food, shelter and clothing are met.

Police are investigating to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding the blaze.

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The estimated damage to the complex from the fire is $500,000. The fire was limited to the V-Building complex that includes four housing units each consisting of two-bedroom, one-bath living quarters.

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Police are asking for the public’s assistance with information relative to the fire. Anyone having information is encouraged to call the police department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1000.

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