Holiday cook-out sends Palm Bay home up in flames

- Palm Bay Fire and Rescue said a hot grill appears to have started a serious house fire Wednesday afternoon.

The home on Yukon St. N.E. had flames coming out of the roof when firefighters arrived on the scene.
Owner Keone Ka’aihue said he had just done what he always did to start a cookout: got the grill preheated and turned the burners down with the lid closed before running inside to grab the food to cook up.

"Stepped away for maybe 2 minutes,” said Ka’aihue.

When he returned though flames were crawling up the side of the one story home.
Ka’aihue said by the time he’d run around the side of the house to grab his garden hose the flames were already spreading through the attic above.

"With that wind blowing, I mean it was, it was, it was more than a garden hose was going to deal with,” he said.

There’s no official word on what started the fire. Ka’aihue said he did all his usual checks for propane leaks on the grill but he couldn’t rule a leak out, nor could he rule out those high winds having something to do with it.

Luckily, the homeowner and Navy veteran said no one else was in the home with him, so no one was hurt, and firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to any of his neighbors’ homes.
Ka’aihue said the home is being considered a loss, but he has insurance and friends to stay with until things are worked out.

"It's a big lesson learned,” said Ka’aihue. "Pay attention to your grill."
 

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