Big Island family that lost home and business to fire turns to community for support
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A Big Island family has lost everything in a fire that destroyed their home.
The single mom of three ran a business in that house ― and now loved ones are turning to the community for help.
The Hawaii Island Fire Department says just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, 13 firefighters responded to the single-story wooden home along 24th Avenue at Hawaiian Park Paradise.
Officials say 50% of the home was engulfed in flames by the time they arrived.
Heather Fergerstrom, the owner of Coconut Girls Earrings, and her family lived in the home. Her workshop was connected to the house.
Fergerstrom sister, Sunserene Mangarero, said her nephew saw the fire coming out of his mom’s workshop.
Knowing there were propane tanks in the back, they got into their car quickly and fled to safety.
“And she said when she was reversing, she saw all the lights go off and that’s when she knew like her house was gonna burn,” Mangarero said.
Managarero said her sister is too distraught to speak publicly about everything she’s lost.
She said Fergerstrom started her thriving jewelry business 15 years ago, at first selling $3 earrings before starting to craft jewelry herself.
Mangarero says it was her sister’s only livelihood.
“And the sad thing was she had a bunch of clients for graduation and weddings, and she had everything ready … and they got burned,” said Mangarero. “She had to tell her clients and that was the worst thing for her.”
Mangarero created a GoFundMe to help her sister and kids get back on their feet.
She says her family is grateful for the response from the community.
“I think it’s really helping her to just get strength and know that people want to help. People know you and they love you,” said Mangarero.
Hawaii Island Fire Department said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
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