Just after 4pm on Tuesday, July 12 a fire was reported inside one of the apartments of the Mauka building, which is located in Kakaako, the financial district of Honolulu. The fire was reported to have been caused a resident of the subject dwelling unit improperly extinguishing a cigarette. The fire grew to be large enough to activate a single sprinkler head inside the dwelling, which quickly contained the developing fire and ultimately extinguished it. A corridor hose reel was also used to support extinguishing operations. The fire occurred on the 15th floor of the 30-story tower. No occupants were injured, and the fire is estimated to cost over $25,000 in damage.
This incident reminds us of the number one threat to all fires, human error in handling of ignited materials. It also reminds us of the redundancy in life-safety systems for a building of this kind. Because this is a high-rise building, it consists of Type 1A construction and contains a fire alarm system, a fire sprinkler system, and standpipe outlets to fight potential fires. Additional, this reminds us that fire sprinklers remain the best feature to protect a building from fire.