Seventy firefighters converged on a raging fire this morning off Sand Island Access Road that destroyed a commercial warehouse and caused millions in damage.
The four-alarm fire erupted just after midnight and burned for more than two hours before firefighters could contain the blaze.
Nearly 12 hours later, firefighters remained on scene trying to extinguish the fire, which had caused the warehouse roof to collapse. Almost 18 hours later, small wisps ofsmoke continued to rise from piles of debris within the structure about 3/4 the length of a football field.
No one was hurt, but battling the deep-seated blaze was labor-intensive work with the corrugated steel roof and walls shedding water like porcelain and firefighters having tostretch their hoses about an 1/8 of a mile to the hydrants, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Kendall Ching.
Twenty-four fire companies were sent to the fire after the initial alarm at 12:04 a.m. and the first arriving companies found the structure engulfed in flames. No one wasinside.
Tankers from as far as Wahiawa and Waipahu responded and extra firefighters were dispatched from the Windward side, he said.
Firefighters had to relay water to the tankers from the hydrants on Pahounui Drive as well as stretch their hoses through other business properties. The warehouse sits on anunpaved road adjacent to Pahounui.
Firefighters attacked the blaze in sections and eventually brought it under control by 2:25 a.m. After sunrise, firefighters were able to enter the structure and move thecontents to extinguish the fire.
Sidney Goo, owner of Niu Nursery, said the warehouse housed his business and a construction company, Erik Builders.
Goo said Niu Nursery operated out of the warehouse since 1980, creating potting soil that is sold through wholesalers, such as Walmart, City Mill, and Home Depot.
“It’s sad, but I’m just happy that no one got hurt,” Goo said. He said the fire came at a busy time for his business and he lost custom machinery, about four months supply ofpackaging material, and other equipment in the blaze. He was working with his insurance company.
“I just hope the local customers can understand and keep supporting us because we’ll be back,” he said.
The blaze caused $2.2 million in damage, including $1.7 million to the contents, Ching said. The cause was under investigation.