A resident manager and her family narrowly escaped a fire this week at Great American Self Storage in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Kat Rauch and her husband, John, were awakened at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday by a fire alarm in their second-story dwelling, which is just above the facility office, according to the source.
When John Rauch opened the bedroom door, he was “hit with heat and smoke,” he told the source. The couple, their two dogs and three family members, including two adults and a 13-month-old child that were staying with them, were able to exit the building safely. “We ran out with just the clothes on our backs. We were making it down the stairs as the fire followed us out,” John Rauch said.
Fire crews received the call at 1:48 a.m. and arrived on the scene in less than 15 minutes. The blaze had spread across the terrace and living area, but was contained to the upstairs residential unit. Fire crews extinguished it by 2:45 a.m., and none of the storage units were affected.
Items from the downstairs office were salvaged and moved into a storage unit, however, the home and all its contents were destroyed. “Everything we own just went up in flames,” Kat Rauch said. “You never think it’s going to happen to you. Never in a million years did I think I would go through a house fire. If we hadn’t woken up or hesitated, we would’ve been trapped in the back.”
Although representatives from the Red Cross arrived on the scene to assist, they were unable to secure a hotel room for the family, who spent the remainder of the night in an open storage unit, the source reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but not considered suspicious. The building is valued at $500,000, with estimated damages at $275,000, including the office and home’s contents.
Great American provides traditional self-storage and records storage for the Hawaiian communities of Kalaoa, Kaloko-Honokohau, Kailua-Kona and Hōlualoa.
Hawaii Tribune Herald, 5 Escape Fire at American Self Storage