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The Latest: Victim's kin: High-rise should've had sprinklers

The Latest: Victim's kin: High-rise should've had sprinklers

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HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a deadly high-rise apartment building fire in Honolulu (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

A man whose brother and mother were killed when fire swept through their high-rise apartment building in Honolulu says the building's management company should have installed fire sprinklers, even though it wasn't required by law.

Phil Reller says Sunday he's still in shock that his brother Britt Reller and their 85-year-old mother, Melba Jeannine Dilley, were killed in Friday's blaze.

They were among three people who died when the blaze raged through the Marco Polo high-rise apartment building.

A fire official has said the building didn't have fire sprinklers, which officials say would have stopped the flames from spreading.

The building was built in 1971, before sprinklers were mandatory in high-rises

Reller says he doesn't care that the law didn't require fire sprinklers. He says the management company should have still installed them anyway to keep residents safe.


11 a.m.

Residents say they didn't realize a deadly inferno was raging in their high-rise apartment building in Honolulu until they opened their doors and saw firefighters racing to battle the flames.

Several residents told The Associated Press there were no building fire alarm sirens in the units at the Marco Polo high-rise apartment building where Friday's blaze broke out.

Cory La Roe, who works as an Air Force cyber technician, says there were no announcements or flashing lights. He says he realized there was a fire after he saw people running from their apartments.

Family members have identified those killed as 54-year-old Britt Reller, his 85-year-old mother Melba Jeannine Dilley and 71-year-old Joanna Kuwata.


10:15 a.m.

Family members of a 71-year-old woman say she is the third victim killed in a high-rise fire in Honolulu.

Jayne Matsuyama tells The Honolulu Star-Advertiser ( that her sister Joanna Kuwata was one of three people killed in Friday's blaze.

Matsuyama says her sister was single and lived alone on the 26th floor of the high-rise where the fire broke out. She says Kuwata, who retired about five years ago, had lived in the building for the last two decades.

Matsuyama told the newspaper that her sister's apartment was not damaged by the fire.

Hawaiian Airlines in-flight manager, 54-year-old Britt Reller, and his 85-year-old mother, Melba Jeannine Dilley, were among the dead. A dozen other people were injured in the fire.

Fire officials have not released the cause of the blaze.


9:14 p.m.

As smoke filled his 26th-floor apartment in Honolulu, a Hawaiian Airlines manager made one final telephone call to his brother, the brother says, before both the man and his mother were killed in the blaze.

Pearl City Community Church Pastor Phil Reller told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser ( that police confirmed that two of the three victims killed in the blaze Friday are his mother and brother.

Reller told the newspaper he received a call from his brother, Britt Reller, 54, saying he had been taking a shower when he smelled the smoke. He rushed out but was unable to get to their 85-year-old mother, Melba Jeannine Dilley. He had crawled under a bed and wasn't heard from again, his brother told the newspaper.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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