POSTED: 05:30 a.m. HST, Mar 30, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 03:38 p.m. HST, Mar 30, 2012
An elderly woman was trapped in her burning Pearl City home and died early today, despite the efforts of neighbors to rescue her, officials and witnesses said.
The fire broke out at about 4:36 a.m. at 1888 Hoomalolo St. The single-story wooden house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at 4:41 a.m., said Fire Capt. Terry Seelig. He said two residents of the home escaped and were not seriously hurt. Police said a 97-year-old woman was found dead in the home.
Seelig said firefighters brought the fire under control at 5:13 a.m. and discovered the body of a woman in the house. The body of the woman, who was bedridden, was found in the middle bedroom of the three-bedroom home.
Paramedics confirmed the fatality. Two other people were treated at the scene, but refused transport to a hospital, an Emergency Medical Services supervisor said.
The man and woman who survived are an unmarried couple in their 70s who live in the home, according to neighbors. The man is the son of the elderly woman who died.
Neighbors helped rescue the couple but could not reach the older woman because of intense flames and smoke.
The body of one of six cats that lived at the home was found but the fate of the other five was not immediately known.
Police closed Hoomalolo Street between Hoolaulea Street and Hoohai Street while firefighters remained at the scene.
The fire caused $360,000 in damage to the building and an estimated $90,000 to the contents of the home, including woodworking tools and model planes that belonged to the male occupant. An adjacent house suffered about $40,000 in water and exterior damage.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Seelig said. CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department are seeking public assistance and witnesses to the fire. Anyone with information can call (808) 955-8300.