Maui News

Hawaiʻi Red Cross Responds to 3 Home Fires in 5 Days, Offers Tips

December 28, 2015, 2:00 PM HST
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Kauhale Street house fire. Courtesy photo.

Kauhale Street house fire. Courtesy photo.

Volunteers with the Hawaiʻi Red Cross assisted residents affected by three home fires in the state over the past five days: on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, in Kīhei, Maui; on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, in Makiki; and on Monday, Dec. 28 in Anahola, Kauaʻi.

Organization representatives say Red Cross disaster volunteers met with the affected residents of all three fires and provided assistance with their immediate needs. Caseworkers will continue to follow up with anyone affected in the coming weeks to provide referrals, guidance or additional assistance as needed to help with the recovery process.

A GoFundMe account has since been set up by a neighbor to assist the Maui family displaced by the Christmas Eve house fire on Kauhale Street.

By Monday afternoon, Dec. 28, just two days into the campaign, a total of 60 people raised $6,385 for residents Sandy Farmer-Wiley and Jean Walker.

“Following a few simple tips can help make the rest of your holiday season safe and enjoyable,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaiʻi Red Cross in an organization press release.

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The organization offered the following Holiday Safety Tips:

  • Keep candles away from combustible materials and in a place where children and pets can’t get to them.
  • Pick a designated driver when attending a party and provide non-alcoholic beverage options if hosting a party.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
  • Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
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The American Red Cross also advises the public that they can download the organization’s First Aid App, allowing users to have information on what to do in emergencies.

No matter where people are spending the holidays, downloading the American Red Cross First Aid App allows users to have information on what to do in emergencies when and where they need it.

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