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Honolulu EMS takes 3 ambulances out of service amid fatal rig fire inquiry

Fire experts said an electrical problem may have caused a spark


Photo/Honolulu Emergency Medical Services

By Leila Merrill

HONOLULU — Honolulu Emergency Medical Services has taken three ambulances on Oahu out of service following the ambulance fire that killed a patient and critically injured paramedic Jeff Wilkinson on Aug. 25, HawaiiNewsNow reported.

Multiple agencies are investigating the fatal fire, and no official cause has been identified.

But fire experts are exploring the possibility that an electrical problem could have created a spark, ignited something flammable and spread fast because of the oxygen tanks onboard, Civil Beat reported.

“There had to be a few things that lined up, unfortunately, to allow this fire to start and have it spread as quick as it did,” said Walter Nugent, a former fire investigator who chairs the fire science department at New Jersey City University.