A vacant Waipahu house was destroyed this afternoon by fire, which also damaged two neighboring homes and displaced a family of five.
Total damage to all three houses and a vehicle amounted to roughly $335,000, a fire official said. Five engines, two ladder trucks and a battalion chief responded to the 4:24 p.m. fire.
Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said the fire originated at 94-074 Leowaena St., destroying it and causing an estimated $280,000 damage.
"Witnesses said the house had been broken into by vagrants, and is not currently occupied," Seelig said.
The fire radiated heat to the neighboring home to its right, 94-072 Leowaena St., causing an estimated $65,000 in damage to the structure and its contents, and left four adults and one child homeless. Red Cross is assisting that family. A third house at 94-068 Leowaena St. received minor exterior damage and a vehicle was burned. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $4,000.
A neighbor who tried to fight the fire with garden hoses was checked out at the scene but did not require medical attention, Seelig said.