Kanaio Home Destroyed by Fire

August 6, 2016, 1:33 PM HST · Updated August 6, 1:41 PM
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Maui Now graphic by Wendy Osher.

Maui Now graphic by Wendy Osher.

Upcountry firefighters responded to a structure fire reported near Mile 17 of Piʻilani Highway, in the Kanaio area on Friday, August 5, 2016, at 7:14 p.m.

Upon arrival, Kula firefighters were met by area residents and directed to the structure, which was about 600 yards down a 4-wheel drive road on the makai side of the Piʻilani Highway.

Firefighters arrived at the dwelling at 7:43 p.m., but it had already burned to the ground, according to department reports.

The fire was called under control at 11:53 p.m. and extinguished at around 1 a.m.

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Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said fire crews had difficulty extinguishing the fire, which was in a remote area with no fire hydrants or electricity. Crews had to drive back and forth to refill water from a water tanker parked on the highway, he said.

Fire investigators estimated damages at $200,000 to the structure and $50,000 to its contents. A 1,200 sq. ft. two-story structure connected by a breezeway, to a 600 sq. ft. one-story structure, was completely destroyed. It’s unknown which structure caught fire first. The cause of the fire was undetermined. A nearby shed and outhouse building also sustained some damages.

The 69-year-old woman living in the house was not at home and no one was injured. A neighbor saw the house on fire and called 9-1-1.

The Red Cross is assisting the woman with items lost to the fire. The woman will be staying with family.

A battalion chief and fire crews from Kula, Makawao, and Kahului responded to the fire.

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