By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Firefighters and police responded early Friday morning to a house fire in Waiakea Uka.
According to Police Capt. Robert Wagner, officers responded to a 6:08 a.m. alarm to a two-story home at 745 West Kawailani St. A written Fire Department statement indicates that the first unit arrived at the scene at 6:13 a.m. and the fire was under control at 6:30 a.m. Ten fire units responded to the alarm.
“There was only one tenant who was in that residence at the time, a male, 31 years old,” Wagner said Friday morning. “He preliminarily indicated it was possibly (started in) in the (clothes) dryer section of the home.”
The man was not injured and is being assisted by the Red Cross. A written Fire Department statement said the cause of the blaze is under investigation and noted an electrical malfunction of the dryer as a possible cause.
Estimated damage to the structure is $80,000, Wagner said. According to fire officials, $160,000 in property value was saved.
“There’s no major damage to the forward section of the dwelling,” he said. “It’s in the rear section of the dwelling.”
Two vehicles, a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, were destroyed in the blaze. The estimated loss of both vehicles was estimated at $20,000, according to the Fire Department.
A neighbor, who identified himself only as Alex, said that when he woke up around 6:30 a.m., the fire and police departments were already at the scene.
“I think three fire engines, one ambulance and police,” he said.
He said he didn’t know the home’s resident.
Alex also noted that traffic was backed up at the four-way stop on the nearby corner of Komohana Street.
“Nobody could cross this road,” he said, referring to Kawailani Street.
Police issued a bulletin at 6:32 a.m. noting that traffic “was being rerouted at all intersections surrounding Komohana/Kawailani intersection due to structure fire.” The bulletin advised motorists to avoid the area for two hours.
Police issued an advisory at 8:14 a.m. stating that the fire was under control and the roads were reopened.
According to county property tax records, the home is owned by Alan K. Terao and Sun Ok Kim, and the assessed value of the property is $192,600.
The property has a “for sale” sign visible from the street, and the listed agent, Sharuga Kamakea, said the home is undergoing a “short sale” — which is a real estate sale in which proceeds from the sale will not cover debts secured by liens against the property and the owners are unable to repay the full amount of those liens.
“We’re still trying to get the paperwork together for that, actually,” Kamakea said Friday afternoon.
A short sale is commonly an alternative to foreclosure, since it mitigates additional fees and costs to both the lender and the borrower. A check of court records didn’t turn up a judicial foreclosure proceeding against the homeowners. Kamakea said the home is insured.
Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune- herald.com.