Popular island snack business hit hard by warehouse fire

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — A fire swept through the Kakaako warehouse along Queen Street early Wednesday morning, destroying two small businesses.

One of them: Used surfboards in Hawaii. Another is Lin’s Hawaiian Snacks, an island favorite.

Seen from the street, the colorful storefronts are almost all the remains of the Lin family’s small business.

“We lost everything. Totally unrecognizable. Nothing was salvageable,” said family member Rebecca Lin.

“It still feels like a dream. We’re devastated. Totally broken,” she added.

In business for about 40 years, they’ve cultivated a loyal following of customers who flock for island treats like lychee plums, crackle seeds, and more.

The stock they keep at the Queen Street site is piled up for the holidays.

But the fire reduced it to charred rubble, leaving the family uncertain about their future actions.

“I don’t even know where to start, where we can recover from,” Lin said. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s hard … to get the call, even here, to watch it. It’s going to take a while to get back.”

Surfboards collected by Used Surfboards Hawaii were also destroyed.

The two-alarm blaze began around 1.30am on Wednesday. The HFD mobilized approximately 45 personnel who battled the flames for hours.

“I saw a strange rectangular flame coming out of the roof,” Kakaako resident Stephanie Serrah said. “We thought it died down, and then oh my god. Huge flames. Huge.”

The flames were so intense that the roof of the building collapsed, forcing firefighters to douse the blaze from ladders above.Turns off after a few hours at about 7am

The Lin family said they were grateful no one was hurt and had already felt the love from the community. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for the recycling.

“We’re going to survive that too. We’re very grateful for everyone’s support, everyone’s messages. At this point, it’s really everything for us. We’re looking up, though,” Lin said.

Their store on Kamakee Street in the Ward area will remain open for as long as their stock lasts.

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