Sunday | March 26, 2017
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2 die in Hilo house fire

Two people were killed in an early Thursday morning house fire at the northern edge of Hilo.

The victims’ identities have not been released.

“That’s gonna be a while,” Capt. Robert Wagner of the Hawaii Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division said. “There’s going to be an autopsy and it’s probably going to be through dental records. … It will probably be Monday or Tuesday.”

Wagner said the fire at 917 Wainaku St. also claimed the life of a dog.

Ten units responded to the 1:08 a.m. alarm, according to a Hawaii Fire Department statement. The first unit arrived on scene at 1:15 a.m. The fire was reported under control at 2 a.m.

Responding firefighters found the single-family home engulfed in flames with the roof partially collapsed. The victims’ remains were discovered after the fire was extinguished.

Officials estimate the loss at $150,000. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

County property tax records indicate the property is owned by Thomas K. Lalakea and Carolyn C. Lalakea of Honolulu.

Carolyn Lalakea referred questions to property manager Keith Dela Cruz who declined to disclose the names of the property’s tenants, citing the police and fire investigation.

“We’re shocked and saddened,” Dela Cruz said Thursday afternoon. “It’s a hard time for all of us right now.”