At least three dead as immense fire engulfs Hawaii tower block
AN enormous fire has engulfed a tower block in Honolulu, Hawaii, leaving at least three people dead, emergency services have revealed.
The inferno blazed through the 26th floor of the Marco Polo apartment block within the states capital, before spreading to the 28th floor.
Emergency services have already given at least a dozen people medical attention, with officials concerned the number of fatalities could grow.
Huge fire in Honolulu Hawaii leaves at least three dead
At least 60 fire fighters are believed to have attended the incident.
Thick black smoke has been witnessed streaming from the building as flames lap out from window frames.
Captain David Jenkins, the Honolulu fire department’s spokesman confirmed at least 100 fire fighters are still trying to tame the fire at the 2333 Kapiolani Boulevard building.
Fire Chief Manuel Neves said: “It seems like we’re making headway a little bit”.
Residents are reportedly furious at the slow rate it has taken the crews to deal with the blaze.
Baraba Hudman, who has lived in the high-rise building since 1979 told local media: “With all of these fire trucks, I can’t understand why they can’t put it out.
“Something is screwed up.”
Marco Polo apartment fire, left, has left three feared dead
The three victims were found dead along the 26th floor, the fire chief said.
Troy Yasuda a local resident, was giving water to people who evacuated.
He told the Guardian: “They were choking from the smoke.”
The residential building did not have a sprinkler system, the mayor has confirmed.
Emergency service confirmed the inferno began around 2.15pm BST (3.15am local time), with the fire still raging on hours later.
Emergency services have evacuated residents from the “hot zone” directly above and to the side of the fire, a fire department spokesman confirmed.
While plans are underway to secure long-term shelter, the nearby Ala Wai Elementary School has been opened to offer support to those in need.
The fire comes weeks after at least 80 people were killed on 14 June when a fire swarmed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower apartments in London.
The inferno was started by a faulty fridge-freezer which ignited cladding and insulation that have not passed new safety tests.
Firefighters have said there are residents still trapped in their rooms while others are unnacounted for.
Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves said without a doubt, if there had been sprinklers the fire would not have spread.