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3 Dead in 5-Alarm Blaze at Honolulu High Rise

HONOLULU, July 15, 2017 — Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu, Hawaii confirmed that at least three people died in a massive fire at a high-rise. The fire started at 2:15 p.m. at the Marco Polo Apartments, 36-story building that houses condos and apartments.  The victims have been listed as two women and a man, all were found on the 26th floor.

HFD spokesman Capt. David Jenkins said at least 100 fire personnel and more than 30 HFD units responded to the fire at the 2333 Kapiolani Boulevard building.

Five people were taken to a local hospital for heat exhaustion. Nobody is sure of what caused the fire, but the fire department did acknowledge that the apartment where it started did not have sprinklers.  Buildings built before 1974 were not required to install fire sprinklers.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the multiple-alarm fire at the Marco Polo apartments that started on the 26th floor where all the bodies were found. Police said it was an orderly evacuation but were going door-to-door evacuating residents.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser described the scene: “Flames were lapping out from the building and glass from the windows and window frames rained down on the ground. Heavy black smoke was visible from miles away.”

Flames and heavy smoke were visible for miles away for hours. Glass from the windows and window frames rained down on the ground as the blaze raged inside. Heavy black smoke was visible from miles away.

On Jan. 15, 2013, an early-morning, three-alarm fire at the same building caused $1.1 million in damage to two apartments, exterior walls and hallways but no injuries. Today’s fire is the worst high-rise blaze Hawaii has seen since a six-alarm inferno on April 1, 2000, that destroyed the top floor of the 16-story Interstate Building on King Street. One third of Honolulu’s firefighters were called to battle that blaze, which started at 8:25 a.m. and was declared under control shortly before noon.

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