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Fire crews respond to a fire in Kula and a mountain rescue in Wailuku

At 11:51 p.m. on Sunday, August 6, 2017, upcountry firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 1000 block of Polipoli Road.

Kula firefighters arrived in the area at 12:03 a.m. and did not see any signs of fire. Firefighters had trouble accessing the narrow driveway but eventually reached the one-story 1,500 sq. ft. residence.
The crew made entry and quickly brought the fire under control. The fire was called extinguished at 12:34 a.m. Monday morning. There were no injuries.

An adult male living on one side of the house which was a duplex dwelling, told firefighters that he called 911 and tried to put out the fire himself, but was unable to. The man was at home when he discovered the fire. The other unit of the duplex which burned was vacant at the time.

The fire damaged a room in the vacant unit and also caused moderate smoke damage to a kitchen area. Damages were set at around $20,000 to the structure and contents. The cause of the fire was undetermined.

The Red Cross is assisting the man affected in the other duplex unit.

A battalion chief and three companies, and a water tanker from Kula, Makawao and Kahului responded to the fire.


At 12:04 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, firefighters responded to the Wailuku Heights area for a male hiker who called emergency dispatchers that he was lost and had ran out of water on the slopes above the Wailuku Heights subdivision.

Firefighters from Wailuku communicated with the hiker via cellular phone in attempts to determine exactly where he was at. The man said he was on a ridge to the west of the white cross on the mountain near Wailuku Heights, and he could see the fire truck parked on South Alu Road.

The fire department’s Air-1 helicopter had just been released from another rescue call at Kaihalulu Beach in Hana when they responded to Wailuku to assist in locating the lost hiker. Air-1 spotted the man at around 1:30 p.m. and then landed on South Alu Road where Wailuku firefighters were parked. Crews rigged up a rope sling on the belly of the helicopter.

Air-1 then took off with a rescue firefighter suspended from a 75-foot line attached to the underside of the chopper. The firefighter was dropped off with the hiker, who was at the 3,200 foot elevation on a ridge above and towards the south of the white cross put up by the St. Anthony School Alumni.

After securing the man in a harness, hiker and firefighter were airlifted by Air-1 and set down at 1:50 p.m. in the Wailuku Heights Park on South Alu Road.

The 60-year-old man from Wailuku was not injured. He had set out from his Main Street home for a hike to the cross at around 7 a.m. Tuesday morning and became lost far above the cross. He also ran out of water and did not believe he could walk back down because of exhaustion, heat cramps and being dehydrated. The man declined medical treatment and was picked up by a friend.



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