3 dead as blaze tears through Hawaii high-rise

3 dead as blaze tears through Hawaii high-rise


HONOLULU: At least three people were killed and a dozen injured Friday when a massive fire tore through a 36-story apartment complex in Honolulu, local media reported.

Flames and thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the building as the blaze, which burned for more than four hours, sent glass from the windows raining down. Authorities warned the death toll could rise as they scoured the scene of the charred building that had no sprinkler system.

A woman and her adult son were among the victims, who all died on the 26th floor, the Honolulu Star Advertiser said. About 12 residents and one firefighter were injured, according to the newspaper. The firefighter and three others were taken to hospital in serious condition.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted just before 7:00 pm (0500 GMT) that the fire at the Marco Polo Building was now “under control.”

“Mahalo to all first responders,” Caldwell wrote, using a Hawaiian word for “thank you.” However firefighters later responded to a “flare-up” in the building.

At least 100 fire personnel and more than 30 fire department units responded to the blaze, which was initially reported as burning through the 26th floor but then spread to multiple units across the 25th and up to the 28th floor.

 

 

Published in Daily Times, July 16th , 2017.