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‘We lost everything’: Businesses left picking up pieces after Kaka’ako warehouse fire

<i>KITV</i><br/>Businesses are left picking up the pieces after a Kaka'ako warehouse fire.
Businesses are left picking up the pieces after a Kaka'ako warehouse fire.

By Mika Miyashima

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — The Honolulu Fire Department ruled a massive warehouse fire that broke out early Wednesday morning in Kaka’ako, as accidental.

According to HFD, it was caused by an appliance used to melt surfboard wax off a board that was unintentionally turned on.

A surfboard along with some combustible fuel ignited and caused the fire to spread, prompting firefighters to battle a massive blaze for more than four hours.

HFD says the fire caused a total of $4,528,000 in damages between two businesses now left picking up the pieces.

The fire burned surfboards inside surfboard shop, Used Surfboards Hawaii, and also heavily damaged longtime family owned business, Lin’s Hawaiian Snacks.

“We lost everything. It’s truly devastating, especially during this time,” explained Rebecca Lin, of Lin’s Hawaiian Snacks.

“I had 2 thousand-dollar boards in there. I’m just glad that everybody’s safe and I hope that things get restored,” says Jeffrey Beliveau of Waikiki.

Firefighters initially fought the blaze from inside the warehouse, but had to get out after the fire breached through the roof.

“The community helped us. The neighbor across the street offered up his apartment and his balcony so we could get a better vantage point,” said Honolulu Fire Department Captain Malcolm Medrano.

Lin said her family plans to keep their nearby store on Kamakee street open, while inventory lasts.

“This was our second home. This is not only our livelihoods but our employees that have been with us for 20 years. We’re going to have to come together to figure this out,” she explained. “If anything, come by the Kamakee Shop. It’s going to be a long road to recovery.”

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