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Fatal Waipahu fire started in kitchen outlet, investigator finds

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:27 p.m. HST, Mar 7, 2013

An electrical malfunction in a kitchen wall outlet started the fire at a Waipahu house Tuesday that killed two of its three residents, the Fire Department said today.

Neighbors identified the victims of the fire as Haruki “Harry” Tokita, 84, and his daughter Karen Tokita, 55.

Randy Tokita, 51 — Harry Tokita's son — escaped without injury, the fire department said. 

The fire at 94-415 Apowale St. began about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, the fire department said. The malfunctioning outlet was behind a refrigerator, the department said. 

The fire investigator said the house had no smoke alarms, and that books and furniture blocked the front door, which the fire department said “made surviving this fire more difficult.”

Property damage was estimated at $450,000. These were the first two residential fire fatalities on Oahu this year.

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