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Barbecue leads to 80-acre brush fire

An unattended barbecue started an 80-acre brush fire Thursday that destroyed two houses and forced dozens of residents to leave their homes on the Big Island, the Hawaii County Fire Department said.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at about 3:05 p.m. Thursday and evacuated an estimated 50 residents from 30 homes between Luau Drive and Princess Kaiulani Boulevard in Naalehu, authorities said.

By 8 p.m. about 20 firefighters had the blaze under control and remained on scene to mop up and monitor hot spots.

 

Waipahu school portable destroyed

A fire destroyed a wooden portable at Waipahu Intermediate School early yesterday morning, causing about $200,000 in damage, firefighters said.

The cause remains under investigation, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig in an e-mail.

About 20 firefighters responded to the fire at 12:38 a.m. and extinguished it by 1:44 a.m., Seelig said. The portable was in the back of the school. No one was injured.

 

Diver’s body is recovered off Kahala

Firefighters found the body of a diver yesterday morning who had been missing off Kahala Beach since Thursday night.

Shortly after firefighters resumed a search for the diver at 5:45 a.m. yesterday, a beachgoer walking on the beach

reported seeing a body in the water.

Police said the body matched the description of the missing diver.

The diver, believed to be in his late 30s, was part of a four-man recreational dive team and was last seen at about 10 p.m. near the reef about 200 yards offshore.

The Fire Department searched with its helicopter and along the shoreline for more than two hours Thursday night before suspending its search at about 12:15 a.m.

 

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