Hawaii News

Friday, January 17, 2020

Firefighters battle blaze at Honolulu highrise

VIDEO: Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a blaze Thursday at a Maikiki highrise. Firefighters responded to the Camelot Condominiums at 1620 Liholiho St. about 2:30 p.m. Thursday following reports of a fire in a unit. Smoke could be seen pouring from a lower floor, and fire alarms were blaring. Resident Wayne Kane, who lives on the 15th floor, carried his elderly neighbor down the stairs to safety. Kane said he heard the elevator alarms going off, but did not think much of it until he went outside and saw smoke. “I looked over the balcony and the edge, it was on the other side of the building so I felt safe,” he said. “But until you start to breathe and smell the smoke, you realize how serious it is, you just gotta get away from it. Once we got into the stairwell, it was pretty easy."
KHNL/KGMB-TV Hawaii News Now

Maui Fire Department Promotes Michael Werner to Assistant Chief

The Maui Department of Fire & Public Safety announced the promotion of Michael Werner to the rank of Assistant Chief. A badge pinning ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Kahului Fire Station. Werner is a veteran firefighter, most recently serving as Battalion Chief. Prior to that was promoted to Captain in 2011. In December, there were multiple retirements from the department, including: Assistant Chief Val Martin, Battalion Chief Wayne Cambra, Fire Captains: Charlie Smith, Edward Taomoto, Kekoa Puhi, Chris Platiro and Craig Delos Santos and Fire Fighter III Angus Peters.
Maui Now

Follow Up: NTSB factual report says weather was a major factor in December 2017 Molokai crash

Bill and Lynn Vogt headed home to Molokai from Oahu in a single-engine, wheel-equipped Textron Aviation aircraft after an out-of-state trip near noon Dec. 10, 2017. As the couple approached Molokai Airport, they encountered turbulent weather and were south of the approach course for Runway 5. Bill Vogt, who was piloting the aircraft, acknowledged the Molokai traffic controller’s advisory about 6 miles from the airport, saying that he was “coming back,” that he was “right at the edge of VFR (visual flight rules),” and that he had “pretty good visibility.” No further communications were received from Vogt. The National Transportation Safety Board’s factual report, released Jan. 6, largely was focused on the weather conditions. The report is a prelude to the NTSB’s final report on the crash and the probable cause, which is expected around Feb. 12.
Maui News

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Former Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman rehired

A year after he retired, former Kauai Fire Department Chief Robert Westerman is back on the job. A county spokesperson said Westerman was hired Jan. 7 on an 89-day contract while the Fire Commission continues its search for a permanent replacement, a process that started over a year and a half ago when he announced his retirement in June 2018. Battalion Chief Solomon Kanoho, one of the department’s most senior firefighters, recently volunteered to fill in as chief until a replacement could be found, but the commission rejected that option in favor of Westerman, despite testimony backing Kanoho from several of the KFD’s highest-ranking firemen. Until last week, the vacancy was filled by Deputy Fire Chief Kilipaki Vaughan, but that arrangement ended Jan. 1 when he was promoted to captain at the Hanapepe fire station.
The Garden Island

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