Fire destroyed half of a vacant, three-bedroom home on Lahainaluna Road early Saturday morning, but no injuries were reported, Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said.
Around 1:15 a.m., Ed's Union 76 Service station cashier Ryan Duenas called 911 to report the fire at a home next door at 233 Lahainaluna Road.
He reported the fire was on the backside of the residence and spreading quickly.
Maui firefighter John Tualemoso walks with other firefighters at the scene of a house fire early Saturday morning on Lahainaluna Road. Half of the vacant, three-story home was destroyed. No injuries were reported.
The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo
"When the fire started getting bigger, there were loud popping noises," he said. "I didn't want to leave, but I had to make sure the gas was shut off. But I thought, if it gets any closer this place is going to go up."
Shell Station cashier Alexandria Hussey was stocking shelves when the fire started, but described the noise as an explosion.
"My landlord, who lives up the street, said he heard an explosion, too, and came running down," she said. "He thought it was me, and I told him it was a house fire."
Police arrived about five minutes later, followed by two Maui County fire companies. Firefighters parked in the gas station and controlled the fire closest to the station, witnesses said.
Firefighters from Lahaina, Napili, Kihei, Kahului and Wailea responded to the blaze reported at 1:13 a.m., Mainaga said. The Lahaina engine company arrived first and found fire engulfing half of a single-story structure.
The fire was brought under control within 25 minutes, Mainaga said. It was extinguished by 6:19 a.m.
Damage was estimated at $200,000. The fire's cause remained undetermined.