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Waikiki fire destroys home

By Gene Park

LAST UPDATED: 3:00 p.m. HST, Dec 21, 2011

A blaze destroyed a three-unit house on Launiu Street in Waikiki this morning.

At about 10:42 a.m., firefighters responded to a fire that started at one of the bottom units of the house. Nobody was home at the time, said fire spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. 

The fire was under control by 11:08 a.m., and extinguished shortly afterward. Fire investigators have yet to pinpoint a cause or point of origin, Seelig said. The fire caused about $400,000 damage to the home, and $50,000 to the contents inside. 

Four people have been displaced. Three were home at the time, but there were no injuries. 

"Substantial damage, this is going to be a total loss," Seelig said. "With the amount of damage and the age of the building, it won't be repaired."

Seelig said the building may have been built around World War II. 

Firefighters pulled hose lines to protect a street-front building, which suffered minimal exterior damage but remains habitable. 

Red Cross volunteers responded to help the victims. 

Police closed off Launiu Street from Kuhio Avenue to Ala Wai Boulevard at about 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. due to the fire. 

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