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Hawaii News

911 recordings confirm 4-minute response time to fire

Leila Fujimori

The Fire Department’s 911 tapes confirm Makiki firefighters arrived four minutes after the first 911 call about an apartment building fire, located across the street from the Makiki Fire Station, not 10 to 18 minutes as numerous residents alleged.

"It’s not unusual for people to think that it took longer for emergency responders to reach a scene," said fire Capt. Terry Seelig. "I think people’s perception of time shifts when there’s a crisis."

The Fire Department received 23 calls regarding the early-morning fire at the Makikian, a three-story walkup.

Residents, including two children, 9 and 11, who lived in one of two destroyed units escaped without injury.

The first 911 caller at 2:15 a.m. says the fire is at "1190 Wilder across the street from E3 (Engine 3) Makiki," referring to the Makiki station. A second caller says: "It’s going wild. The fire department’s right next door."

The somewhat garbled recording of a radio call of the captain first on scene is time-stamped at 2:18 a.m. and 50 seconds. It’s not clear which engine company the call is from, but a dispatcher acknowledges the call, saying, "Copy Engine 3, at scene."

Seelig identifies the voice as that of the Makiki captain and said the dispatcher has a display on a console that showed the radio transmission was from Engine 3.


Full-length: All
Residents call 911 to report Makiki fire

Excerpt: Call 1
2:18 a.m.: Engine 3 reports 2nd story structure fire fully involved

Excerpt: Call 2
2:19 a.m.: HFD dispatch acknowledging Engine 3 at the scene

Excerpt: Call 3
2:21 a.m.: Engine 2 at the scene

Excerpt: Call 4
2:21 a.m.: Dispatch acknowledges Engine 2 at scene

Excerpt: Call 5
2:37 a.m.: Ladder 2 reports second floor occupant is out of building

Excerpt: Call 6
2:38 a.m.: Ladder 2 confirms second floor occupant has no injuries

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