Big Island authorities find man’s body after house fire

November 5, 2017

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire after a man’s body was found inside the scorched remains of a house on the Big Island.

Ryan Gerwig and Sean Hilla said they saw the fire erupt at the house in Kailua-Kona on Friday morning, spurring the brothers into action, West Hawaii Today reported .

“One minute there was nothing, the next thing — towering flames,” Hilla said.

Gerwig, who is a firefighter in Boca Raton, Florida, kicked in the front door of the house to see if anyone was trapped on the first floor. Hilla said that neighbors got out a water house, and he used it to start soaking down the neighboring home.

The brothers then went to the back of the house in an attempt to access the home’s lower section, but they were met with a wall of heat.

“There was no getting in there without jeopardizing our own safety,” Gerwig said.

Once Hawaii Fire Department personnel arrived, the brothers stepped back and went on with their day. Hilla said they didn’t think anyone was inside, but they learned of the death that evening.

The body of a man was discovered in the lower section of the house after the firefighters extinguished the blaze. Fire Battalion Chief John Whitman said the man was found near where the fire originated.

“There was nothing we could do to save this gentleman’s life,” Hilla said.

Police have not identified the man or the cause of death. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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