HILO, Hawaii – A fire burned down an unoccupied residential structure on Mililani Street in Hilo on Monday. Neighbors said the house was a well known squatter dwelling.
Fire crews responded to an alarm shortly after 10 a.m., and arrived to find the building fully engulfed in flames. Initially, the fire threatened a residence on Manono Street, but two fire crews were able to protect that residence by using tactical attack lines. Police set up roadblocks at the Piilani Street – Mililani Street intersection and also at the Hualani Street – Mililani Street intersection.
The Fire Department would not disclose the owner of the property at 531 Mililani Street, but neighbors said squatters were living in the structure.
“People were using it for their own recreation,” said Terance Okino, who lives next door and hosed down trees between the properties to protect his own home.
Okino said its good that the property is gone and said he hopes it will solve some of the neighborhood’s problems.
“Thanks to the person who lit the fire,” Okino smiled.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.