One dead in downtown Hilo house fire

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Firefighters survey damage to a downtown Hilo home destroyed by fire this morning.

CORRECTION 9-17-18: A previous version of this story had an incorrect address provided by the Fire Department. The Tribune-Herald regrets the error.

UPDATE : 4:15 p.m. Saturday: An elderly man died in this morning’s fire at 542 Kinoole St. in downtown Hilo.


The victim was not identified.

Police said all other occupants of the home was accounted for.

The Red Cross is providing assistance to those left without shelter by the blaze, which is of undetermined origin at this time.


A house fire in downtown Hilo snarled mid-morning traffic today.

According to Hawaii Police Department Sgt. Norbert Serrao, the alarm came in at 9:35 a.m. for the fire, which was mere steps from the Central Fire Station on Kinoole Street and a couple of houses away from Ballard Family Mortuary.

As heavy rain fell, black smoke billowed at least 100 feet high and police and fire responded quickly. Traffic was blocked off on Kinoole Street between Mamo Street and the entrance to Cost-U-Less, with officers also manning posts at the corner of Kinoole and Ponahawai streets and on Kukuau Street at the corners of Kilauea Avenue and Ululani Street.

“It’s completely destroyed,” Serrao said. “… We have accounted for two of the four occupants right now. We are trying our best to find out where the other two are right now.”


See Sunday’s Tribune-Herald for a full story.

Email John Burnett at

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