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Fire rips through Akebono Theater, Luquin’s Restaurant in Pahoa Monday morning (Jan 16)

UPDATE 10 p.m. Tuesday (Jan 17): Pahoa Village Road is now open to traffic.

By Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Fire/rescue responded to a 12:03 a.m. alarm Monday (Jan 16) to a structure fire in Pahoa at a complex of three buildings housing Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant, the Akebono Theater and a pawn shop in Pahoa.

The historic Akebono Theater, built in 1926, Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant, built in 1907, and a pawn shop building, built in 1938, were gutted by the fire which spread rapidly through the wooden structures. There are five residents that live in the building and all got out safely.

About 9,005 square feet combined space of the three buildings were destroyed in the blaze.

A kava bar, which is located in a separate but adjoining building, was unscathed. A Pahoa resident and the fire department confirmed that the kava bar had a previous fire and was rebuilt with a hollow-tile concrete wall. This wall stopped the fire from spreading on the Kalapana side of the burning structure and probably spared the rest of the block.

Pahoa Village Road remains closed until Tuesday afternoon (Jan 17) from the area of Kaleo’s Restaurant to the Community Center Road (Kauhale Street) as crews work on the buildings involved in fire. The burnt-out building is buckling outward in some areas and the roof has collapsed. Heavy equipment has been brought in to tear down the structure for safety purposes. Crews were seen working on the rear of the building tearing down the structure.

The American Red Cross is assisting anyone displaced by the fire with emergency clothing, food and shelter. It was reported that five residents of the building with Luquin’s Restaurant got out.

There were no injuries reported in the fire. The total lost in the blaze is estimated to be over $1.8 million. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Facebook Live video by Hawaii 24/7 of the fire scene Monday (Jan 16)…

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