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Honolulu Fire Department Release on Marco Polo Apartment Fire – Fire Under Investigation

On July 14, 2017, at 2:17 p.m. the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) responded to a high-rise building fire at the Marco Polo Apartments, located at 2333 Kapiolani Boulevard. The first HFD unit arrived at 2:21 p.m. to find a 36-story high-rise apartment building with heavy smoke and flames emanating from multiple units on the 26th floor. HFD personnel established command, requested for further resources, secured a water supply and entered the building.

Photo by Nicholas Augusta

As HFD personnel commenced with fire fighting and rescue operations the fire spread to several units on multiple floors, extending to the 28th floor. Over a dozen apartment units were involved in the fire and many more units were evacuated. There were multiple reports of occupants trapped by the smoke and flames. Many occupants were instructed to shelter in place until emergency personnel could escort them to safety. Emergency responders assisted dozens of occupants down stairwells to exit the building.

As the incident progressed, HFD personnel discovered and confirmed three fatalities during search operations. Approximately 12 occupants received medical attention by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Four people, including one fire fighter, were transported in serious condition to nearby hospitals.

A total of five alarms were struck for this incident; resulting in over 30 HFD units staffed with over 100 personnel responding to this incident. Other responding agencies include EMS, the Honolulu Police Department, the Federal Fire Department, the Department of Emergency Management, and the American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter.

The fire is under investigation and the specific cause of the fire and damage estimate are not available at this time.