Kaanapali Alii evacuated as kitchen fire is extinguished

Residents were evacuated from a Kaanapali Alii building early Wednesday after a fire in the kitchen of a fifth-floor unit, fire officials said.

Engine crews from Lahaina, Napili, Kihei and Kahului responded to the 2:52 a.m. report of a high-rise fire at the condominiums at 50 Nohea Kai Drive, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

The first fire unit to arrive found a smoke-filled unit resulting from a fire in the kitchen, he said. The fire activated a sprinkler system.

The fire was under control at about 3:30 a.m., with fire units remaining on scene to help mitigate water damage, Mainaga said. Residents who had been evacuated from Building 3 of the complex by security personnel were allowed to return to their rooms at about 5 a.m.

Damage to the kitchen of the unit was estimated at $5,000.

Although the fire is still under investigation, the cause seems to be accidental due to faulty electrical equipment, Mainaga said.

No injuries were reported.

Don Morrissette, who is staying on the fourth floor of the 11-story building where the fire occurred, thanked the five police officers who went into the building to make sure that occupants had gotten out. “What’s amazing to me is that these policemen were running up the steps as we were running down,” he said.

While the unit his family is staying in wasn’t affected, Morrissette said that five units on the fourth floor can’t be occupied after being affected by water from the sprinkler system. The units are below the one where the fire occurred, Morrissette said.

The Maryland visitor estimated that 50 to 60 people who had been asleep were evacuated from the building.