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Firefighters extinguish blaze at home of police union's leader

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 5:17 p.m. HST, Jun 10, 2011

A garage fire in the Ewa Beach home of a Honolulu police union official this morning caused $100,000 worth of damage.

The fire broke out at about 5:36 a.m. at the home of state police union president Tenari Maafala on Puhikani Place.

Firefighters arrived at 5:44 a.m. and brought the fire under control six minutes later, said Capt. Terry Seelig, a spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department.

Maafala, the president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said his wife had just put a load of laundry in the dryer when she heard an explosion and saw flames. Maafala's wife and two daughters were home and escaped without injury.

A fire investigator was on scene this morning investigating the cause of the fire. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

Seelig said the garage suffered extensive damage, but firefighters were able to help keep the fire from damaging the home. There were no cars parked in the garage when the fire broke out.

Seelig said the occupants in the home heard noises in the garage. When they opened the garage door, they saw flames and smoke.

Several people were home at the time of the fire, but all escaped and there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

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