Man says brother called as fire neared
HONOLULU — A Hawaiian Airlines in-flight manager called his brother as smoke filled his 26th-floor apartment in Honolulu before he and his mother lost their lives in the blaze, the man’s brother said.
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.
Britt Reller had worked as an in-flight manager for Hawaiian Airlines for two years.
The fire broke out in a unit on the 26th floor, where all three of the dead were found, Fire Chief Manuel Neves said.
The building known as the Marco Polo residences is not required to have fire sprinklers, which would have confined the blaze to the unit where it started, Neves said. The 36-floor building near the tourist mecca of Waikiki was built in 1971, before sprinklers were mandatory in highrises. It has over 500 units.
A bus arrives late Friday to take evacuees to a nearby shelter after a deadly fire in the Marco Polo apartment building in Honolulu.