At least 3 dead as fire rages through Honolulu high rise

Three people were found dead after the fire broke out at the Marco Polo apartments. Firefighters said the number could rise

Three people were found dead after the fire broke out at the Marco Polo apartments. Firefighters said the number could rise

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.

"Without a doubt if there were sprinklers in this apartment, the fire would be contained to the unit of origin", he said.

The fire at the Marco Polo condominium building broke out at around 2:15 p.m. local time (8:15 p.m. ET) and started on the 26th floor, Jenkins said earlier. At least three people were taken to the hospital.

The victims were found on the same floor, officials said.

Smoke billows from the upper floors of the Marco Polo apartment complex, Friday, July 14, 2017, in Honolulu. He says there was so much black smoke he could hardly see. "I then opened my window to find the fire was a unit above us, just across", Horiguchi told HuffPost. "She's not standing over the edge or anything, and she's like 'Help me, help me'".

According to Horiguchi, the neighbor was a woman who he believes was in her 50s and was trapped. The American Red Cross said it was assisting those displaced by the fire. They evacuated when they smelled smoke. "I can not go in there, I want to go in there and try to rescue her, but they won't let me". "The hallway was starting to fill with smoke and you could see smoke coming from the elevator shafts, seeping into the 25th floor", Horiguchi explained.

Smoke billows from the upper floors of the high-rise complex
HUGH GENTRY REUTERS Smoke billows from the upper floors of the high-rise complex

It's unclear how many units are involved in the blaze or its cause.

"Paramedics are expediting emergency treatment with a triage location inside the building", Shayne Enright of the city's Emergency Medical Services department told the paper.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services have treated two patients and transported them in serious and stable condition to the hospital.

Flames were lapping out from the building and glass from the windows and window frames rained down on the ground. The blaze was mostly confined to a single section, and only the units immediately above it and to the side of it were evacuated, while many residents stayed inside.

The building was constructed in 1971, before Honolulu began requiring residential high-rise sprinklers in 1974, the Star-Advertiser reported.

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