POSTED: 5:40 p.m. HST, Oct 19, 2012
Fire investigators have identified the causes of two recent fires that caused a combined $950,000 in damage.
Four people were displaced when fire destroyed their two-story, six-bedroom home in Kahaluu and caused $450,000 in damage on Oct. 12.
Investigators traced the fire to a cigarette butt that had been deposited into a plastic pot on the patio that containing other cigarette butts. According to Honolulu fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig, the residual heat from the spent cigarette caused the other material to smolder, eventually triggering a fire that spread from the patio to the rest of the home.
One person was home when the fire broke out but was able to escape without injury.
A neighboring house suffered $5,000 worth of damage caused by the heat from the burning structure.
Investigators also determined that a fire that caused $500,000 to a nail salon at the Manoa Marketplace last Sunday started when a small gas grill used for cooking ignited acetate fumes in a small kitchen area.
Seelig said an employee of Manoa Nails Salon was transferring acetate from one container to another over a sink while the butane-fueled grill was being used nearby.
“The vapors ignited and the fire advanced quickly because of all the other flammable materials that were stored back there,” Seelig said.
Seelig said the grill was being used legally although its proximity to combustible materials created a potentially dangerous situation.
One person was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries as a result of the fire.
A Bank of Hawaii branch located directly below the salon suffered damage due to a water pipe that failed during the fire.