Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves announced Wednesday he will retire Feb. 28 after 42 years of service — eight years as chief, holding the position longer than 14 of his predecessors.
Only four have surpassed Neves, the 34th chief since the Honolulu Fire Department’s inception in 1851. The 66-year-old is also just second in seniority at the department to one other at HFD.
Under his watch, HFD responded to historically major disasters, and Neves raced to the scene of many of them. They included Honolulu’s largest blaze in history — the fatal 2017 Marco Polo high-rise fire, the 2019 Dillingham Airfield plane crash that killed 11 and the deadly 2019 Hibiscus Drive fires.
He also led the charge in getting condos retrofitted with fire sprinklers after the Marco Polo blaze.