A fire in a Manoa nail salon injured one woman and sent others scrambling for help.
Customer Patricia Harwood said, "I went up to make an appointment. I took the elevator up, and I walked across the walkway, and people started yelling. The daughters of the manager were saying, 'Mom don't go in, don't go in.'"
The Honolulu Fire Department said the fire most likely started from overheated containers of acetone.
A receptionist at the salon, Josephine Nguyen, said, "We were just making breakfast in the back with our gas stove with propane gas, and I guess we have gallons of acetone in there."
Capt. Terry Seelig said, "Most likely the sequence there is that the vapors from the acetone as it gets heated up escape the container. It finds the ignition and it flashes into a fireball."
Many people in the Manoa Marketplace were asked to remain back as they watched smoke billowing out of the store. The employees said they've cooked in the back kitchen for nine years.
"I ran outside and got the fire extinguisher to try and stop the fire. When we went in the back I tried to spray it. It exploded once more, so I just left, everybody just left the shop," said Nguyen.
Firefighters said the fire went into the attic space. This created difficult conditions to fight the fire, so firefighters had to open the roof to get to the fire burning in hidden spaces.
Emergency Medical Services said paramedics treated and took one woman in serious condition to the local hospital. Nguyen said it was her co-worker who was injured trying to fight the fire.
"I met her on the elevator and her black hair was all singed brown, and her face was all burned, and her forearms were all burned," said Harwood.
Otherwise, everyone else got out safely. Nguyen said there was a total of four workers and two customers inside at the time of the fire.
An HFD spokesperson said there was also damage done to the Bank of Hawaii below the nail salon. A water supply pipe broke and caused extensive water damage to the bank.
The spokesperson also said they are investigating to find out whether cooking was authorized at the nail salon. The department estimates the damages to be more than $500,000.