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Patient dead, paramedic in critical condition after ambulance allegedly explodes and catches fire

kailua ambulance fire
Jason Ubay
A Honolulu ambulance caught on fire outside Adventist Health Castle in Kailua, Oʻahu. (Aug. 24, 2022)

One person is dead and another is in critical condition after a Honolulu ambulance allegedly exploded and caught fire.

The incident happened Wednesday night outside Adventist Health Castle, a hospital in Kailua, O’ahu.

A Honolulu Emergency Medical Services crew was transporting a patient to the emergency room when the fire began. The 91-year-old patient died during the fire.

A paramedic, who was in the back of the ambulance treating the patient, was critically injured. After being treated at Adventist Health, he was transported to Straub Medical Center in Honolulu. Officials with Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department said he has been with the department for eight years.

His Emergency Medical Technician partner was operating the vehicle at the time of the incident and was not injured.

"Our paramedics, they go on calls 24/7, save lives, but it's unusual and different for us to be the people in need of help," Dr. James Ireland, director of Honolulu's Emergency Services Department, said at a press conference. "And we need your prayers and thoughts tonight for our team."

The EMS crew and ambulance was stationed in Kāneʻohe. The Honolulu Fire Department responded and had the fire under control within 11 minutes of their arrival.

The cause of the fire is unknown, and the HFD is investigating the incident.

This is a developing story.

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