National News

Estimated 40-50 units "total losses" following Marco Polo high-rise fire

Posted July 17

— Fire investigators were still on scene at the Marco Polo Apartments on Sunday, working to determine what caused the massive high-rise fire that injured dozens, and killed three.

Days after what's being considered the worst high-rise fire in Hawaii's history, a majority of the building's residents were able to return to their units.

Many came home to find water and smoke damage inside their apartments.

'It's still like when you look in my bedroom it's like rain drops," said Eldon Wegner, who lives on the 24th floor. "I spent all day trying to get things dry."

Associa Hawaii, the property management group that runs the Marco Polo building, told Island News dozens of units are now unlivable.

"Right now the estimate is between 40 and 50 units that have suffered total losses," Associa Hawaii president, Doug Hesley said. "There was a lot of water pumped in to fight that fire and that water takes time to find its way through the building... We've already started with a company to do heavy water extraction to pull that water out of the building as fast as possible."

According to Hesley, the entire 26th, 27th and half of the 28th floor will remain closed due to extensive damage, and to support fire personnel in their investigation.

Damage assessments and restoration efforts are still underway at the 36-story high-rise.

"The water caused like a rain, flood coming through the window and outside of rooms, to our room which is the 19th floor," said Ahdi Ebrahim, who was on vacation and staying with his friend inside the Marco Polo.

On Sunday, Hesley declined to comment on the sprinkler situation, or the building's current fire safety plans, due to the ongoing investigation.

According to Associa Hawaii's Facebook page, an emergency board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, to map out the next steps for recovery and rebuilding efforts.

"It was a tragic event. Lives were lost.. homes were lost, but this community is coming together and this community is going to help every single member of it get through this horrible event," Hesley added.

Associa Hawaii says they have dedicated $50,000 to the board of directors with Marco Polo.

Many donations have poured in from different business, and members of the community to those affected by the fire.

If anyone would like to donate, Hesley says they are encouraged to bring their items to the Marco Polo front desk.

The Salvation Army is also accepting monetary donations. 100% will go to Marco Polo victims who need rent money.

To donate click here: http://www.hawaii.salvationarmy.org/

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