- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - Fire officials say an Oahu house fire has left one man dead, while four other residents were able to escape with no major injuries.

Erica Pescht, the victim’s girlfriend, identified the man who died in the Saturday fire as 24-year-old Neil Gibbs.

Fire Capt. James Todd said firefighters had received a report that someone was trapped inside the Ewa Beach residence. They arrived to find the victim dead in a second-story bedroom.

The family members that escaped had tried to reach the victim, but Todd said the bedroom door had been locked.

“They were trying to notify the person, but I guess the flames got too intense, so they had to evacuate,” he said.

Damage to the home has been estimated at $200,000.

Neighbor Kaleihua Dowsett told KHON-TV she saw the flames coming from the home.

“We’re a close little community here so having that happen on our quiet little street, I think it kind of just shakes us all up a little,” Dowsett said.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Pescht said Gibbs lived in the home with several relatives and worked for an online marketing company. He leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter named Mila.

Neil was always charismatic, fun-loving and had the biggest heart,” Pescht said in a statement obtained by Hawaii News Now. “He loved our daughter very much. He was the most beautiful soul I’ve known and I am going to keep his memory alive for her.”


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