‘We’re still grieving’: Family of woman killed in August hit-and-run loses home to fire
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow/Gray News) - A family in Hawaii is doing their best to keep it together after losing their daughter and their home within a matter of months.
Nearly three months ago, 25-year-old Aria Belen Ronquillo was killed in a hit-and-run accident while walking on a freeway.
On Tuesday, her surviving loved ones lost their home to a fire.
Firefighters with the Honolulu Fire Department responded to the home on Ohai Place in Wahiawa. Fire officials said the cause of the fire was accidental and that it originated from the stove top.
The family told KHNL/KGMB they lost everything.
“We worked really hard to make sure we kept those memories of her, and now I don’t really have any of those memories of her,” Mark Ronquillo said.
Mark Ronquillo said he is still mourning the loss of his sister.
In their burned-out home, the family found her urn. But everything she was remembered by was gone.
The family’s dogs, Mia and Blackie, were also killed in the fire.
“I’m not trying to think about it as much because I keep breaking down,” Mark Ronquillo said. “I don’t want to keep doing that.”
Mark Ronquillo and his parents are taking care of his sister’s 3-year-old son, Luca.
Dennis Ronquillo, Aria’s father, recalled what happened moments before the fire destroyed their home.
“My wife was cooking on the stove, and when the grandson called her, she went to go see what’s going on. The stove burst into flames,” he said.
Dennis Ronquillo said he’s grateful his wife and grandson made it out safely.
“Losing my daughter in August,” he said. “[My grandson] could have perished, my wife could have perished, I could have lost so much that it was unbearable.”
Police said Aria Belen Ronquillo was walking on the H-2 Freeway when she apparently stepped into the lanes of traffic and was struck by a vehicle around 4:15 a.m.
The motorist is still unknown. The Ronquillo family is unsure why she was on the freeway.
“Me and my family are speculating and questioning as much as everybody else, but as a family we’re still grieving her death,” Dennis Ronquillo said.
But the Ronquillo family said they are thankful for the community’s support through both tragedies.
“To be honest, I don’t think I deserve it, but just want to say thank you so much,” Mark Ronquillo said.
The Ronquillo family started a GoFundMe as they search for a new home and work to replace all that was lost in the fire.
Copyright 2022 KHNL/KGMB via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.