Man found dead in Kalihi house fire

Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:21:32 AM HST   Updated On: Nov 15 2013 06:52:22 AM HST

A house fire in Kalihi killed a 22-year-old man and left up to 20 people homeless Thursday night.

Fire crews responded at 6:35 p.m to the home on Kalihi Street near Ema Place. The 3-story house was fully engulfed on arrival.

Three neighboring homes were evacuated. Several Good Samaritans attempted to rescue residents from the home.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

"People was yelling at the house, they ran out from the house and there was bright light all over our neighborhood. We ran out and seen it was burning," said Lepolo Napa'a, a nearby resident.

"There was a little girl yelling, she looked about 10, saying my brothers in there, my brother he's autistic," James Ubias, a good samaritan.

"We went up the side and we saw the people running down and we tried to kick the second floor door in, but then we heard somebody coughing inside," said Jack Roberts, a good samaritan.

"One of the guys attempted to go inside but the flames, it was just too hot and the smoke was just too crazy, so we went up to the third floor and we heard the man coughing and two minutes later we heard him screaming, and then nothing," said Ubias.

A Honolulu Fire Department spokesperson says the fire was under control by 7:10 p.m.

The Red Cross was on scene giving aid to the affected families.  There is also a shelter set up at St. John the Baptist at 2324 Omilo Lane.  The shelter was scheduled to open at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause.

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