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Fire rips through Waipahu home, displacing 5 residents

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Two people escaped a house fire in Waipahu this morning with minor injuries.

  • ROSEMARIE BERNARDO / RBERNARDO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Two people escaped a house fire in Waipahu this morning with minor injuries.

  • ROSEMARIE BERNARDO / RBERNARDO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Two people escaped a house fire in Waipahu this morning with minor injuries.

Honolulu firefighters extinguished a fast-moving fire that gutted a home in Waipahu early today.

At 2 a.m., 11 units with nearly 40 firefighters responded to a fire at a unit at the Pearl Harbor Gardens subdivision at 94-125 Pahu St. When firefighters arrived, they found a wooden three-bedroom home engulfed in flames.

Resident Joel Casipe, 30, said he was in his bedroom when he smelled smoke coming from the backyard where they have furniture and a full-size refrigerator. The fire quickly tore through the house. Casipe, his girlfriend and mother escaped the blaze.

Casipe’s father, David Casipe Sr., 63, who was next door at the time of the fire, rushed home when he heard his family members’ screams.

Firefighters brought the fire under control just before 2:35 a.m. and extinguished it at 3:30 a.m.

Emergency Medical Services personnel treated two people at the scene for minor injuries including Casipe Sr. who hurt his left heel.

Casipe Sr. said his injury was caused by sparks from a downed live power line that almost struck him.

An occupant’s cat was found in a bedroom and taken to a pet hospital for treatment, HFD said in a news release.

Five people resided in the home including Joel Casipe’s younger brother, Jay, who was at work at the time of the fire. The Casipes have lived there since 1990.

The American Red Cross is assisting them with living arrangements.

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Scot Seguirant said the cause of the fire is under investigation and a damage estimate has not been determined.

Kili Taba, who lives across the street from the Casipes, said he heard popping sounds at about 2 a.m. When he looked through the front window, he saw flames coming from the back of the home. Shortly after he grabbed a shirt and stepped outside, Taba saw flames throughout the entire structure.

“The fire came out to the front so fast,” Taba said, adding the blaze ripped through the home in 10 seconds.

Casipe Sr.’s oldest son, David Casipe Jr. who lives several minutes away, arrived at the scene soon after his brother told him about the fire. Grateful that his family escaped the fire relatively unscathed, Casipe Jr. said, “Material stuff can be replaced.”

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