TRAGIC NEWS Out Of Hawaii- It’s NOT Good

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Dean James III% AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS –

Honolulu, HAWAII — At least three people died and at least another 12 were injured in a massive four-alarm fire that swept through a Honolulu high-rise apartment building that lacks a sprinkler system, fire department officials said.

Firefighters in Honolulu were going door-to-door Saturday in a search for any additional victims.

Kirk Caldwell, the Honolulu mayor, said the building was built in 1971.

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The fire began on the 26th floor — where the victims were found — and spread to at least the 28th floor of the 36-story Marco Polo building, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Jenkins said.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the multiple-alarm fire at the Marco Polo apartments that started on the 26th floor where all the bodies were found.

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Jenkins says the number of fatalities could change. He says at least 12 people have needed medical help.

Four of the injured, including a firefighter, were hospitalized in serious condition, officials said.

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Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves says that without a doubt if there had been sprinklers, the fire would not have spread past the unit where it started.

Troy Yasuda, who lives in a building across the street, was giving water to people who evacuated. “They were choking from the smoke,” he said, adding that people told him they evacuated through dark stairwells.

Police were yelling through megaphones for people still inside to come down, Yasuda said. He watched as people were carried out.

“It’s been an orderly evacuation,” said security guard Leonard Rosa, who was answering phones from the front lobby of the 36-story building near Waikiki. Police and firefighters were going door-to-door, he said.

Officials said an unknown number of the building’s residents sheltered themselves in areas of the building not near flames. Those near the flames were evacuated. Videos posted to social media showed residents on balconies seeking help.

Firefighters say there were reports of people trapped in their units in the burning building.

“Paramedics are expediting emergency treatment with a triage location inside the building,” Shayne Enright told The Honolulu Star Advertiser. The paper described the scene: “Flames were lapping out from the building and glass from the windows and window frames rained down on the ground. Heavy black smoke was visible from miles away.”

Fourth-floor resident Aaron Dengler and his wife were helping their elderly neighbor get to an aid station the American Red Cross set up at a nearby park. “It doesn’t help to just stand and watch,” he said.

About two hours after the fire started it looked like flames were getting bigger and it looked like the blaze was reaching the 28th floor, Dengler said. “People are getting kind of nervous now,” he said. “It’s worrisome.”

“We could see smoke billowing out already and the ground was scorched outside the stairwell,” 32nd floor resident Patrick Williamson told The Associated Press, adding he and his sons, ages 10 and 12, evacuated when they smelled smoke. “I feel worried, concerned and a little angry,” he said. “For the fire to get this out of control is a little suspicious. Either the fire department was late in response or there was something going on in that unit. Either way one wonders what happened and I feel a little bit less secure living in the building.”

Debris could be seen falling from the building, according to ABC affiliate KITV.

 

One resident who declined to give his name said he made it to safety after climbing the stairs from the 29th floor. The man said there was so much smoke, he could hardly see.

The 36-story building just outside the tourist mecca of Waikiki has 568 apartment units.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.

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