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Bedridden man, 55, killed in fire

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    Firefighters doused hot spots yesterday at a home fire on Halona Road in Lualualei. A 55-year-old man was killed in the blaze.
    Firefighters wet down hot spots yesterday on the partially collapsed second floor of a home on Halona Road in Waianae. A 55-year-old man died in the fire.

A 55-year-old bedridden Waianae man was killed during a fire that destroyed a two-story house at 86-464 Halona Road in Lualualei yesterday afternoon.

Mario Eder, whose screams were heard by people trying to save him, was unable to escape the burning house.

The only other person in home at the time of the fire, Eder’s brother-in-law, Rosalio Dumayas, 62, who owned the house and lived upstairs, got out without serious injury.

"He is a good man, a hard worker," said Rufina Jacinto, 71, who used to own a pig farm on Halona Road where Eder had worked before a tree-trimming accident about two years ago left him unable to walk.

Jacinto said Eder’s spinal cord was damaged after falling from a tree. She said Eder, who was mentally disabled with speech difficulties, will be especially missed by her youngest son, who also has some mental disability. "He love him," she said.

Scottie Iata, a friend and neighbor, said, "He’s a nice man. He let me pick bananas from his yard. I brought him back cabbages."

The fire destroyed the two-story house at 86-464 Halona Road.

Three men who work nearby tried to enter the home to save Eder after hearing his screams but were turned away by the heat and smoke.

The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, causing the roof to collapse as firefighters worked to put out the blaze.

The fire caused $400,000 in damage to the structure and $50,000 to its contents, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig. It appears to have started on the first floor, he said. An investigation of the cause will continue today.

Five engines, two ladder companies and about 35 firefighters responded to the 1:56 p.m. alarm, the first company arriving at 2:02 p.m.

After the roof started to collapse, firefighters had to pull back and fight the fire from the outside, Seelig said. Firefighters used an aerial ladder to reach the second story.

Eder was pronounced dead at 4:31 p.m., said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Department of Emergency Services.

The two-story structure was home to about 10 people, Seelig said. One family lived upstairs and the other downstairs, but the families were related.

Eder’s body, found on the first floor, was retrieved after firefighters put out the fire and two sweeps of the house were made to determine no one else was inside.

Two of the families’ four dogs were found safe.

Dumayas’ relatives said he was planning a retirement party next month and had recently completed fixing up his home.

Police shut down Halona between Kuwale and Lualualei Homestead Road.

Eder is the third person to die in a fire on Oahu this year.

On May 5, 69-year-old Ron Cravens was killed while smoking in his bed in his sixth-floor studio unit at the Honuakaha Housing Complex on Queen Street.

On March 2, 89-year-old Lillian Sato died when her Hoolaulea Street home in Pearl City burned.


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