Palehua Gardens resident Robert Bishop said just before the fire broke out Saturday night at his neighbor's townhouse unit, he heard a woman desperately pleading for her life.
"We heard this lady screaming for help," Bishop said.
Bishop, 49, said he ran outside to find his next door neighbor choking his wife on the street. Bishop said, the man who goes by the name "T", went back into his townhome and minutes later, the 2-story structure was on fire.
Honolulu firefighters returned to unit 33 to investigate, as residents of Palehua Gardens tried to make sense of the terrifying string of events the night before.
"The flames just went as high as this house," said resident Virginia Cooter.
Neighbor James Harris said he was home when he smelled the fire and alerted his neighbors.
"(I) started pounding on the other units, saying everybody get out get out get out get out and there was flames everywhere," said Harris.
Neighbors said they grabbed their garden hoses and fire extinguishers and started battling the fire until firefighters arrives.
"All the neighbors was with all of their hoses and we took all of the fire extinguishers," said Bishop.
Bishop said you could hear the glass breaking.