Sunday, July 21, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, August 28, 2023
Fact Check: Joe Biden Embellishes Fire Story in Recent Remarks in Hawaii
By Selected News Articles @ 5:50 PM :: 1824 Views :: Maui County, Ethics, Politicians


by Elias Atienza,, 08/28/2023

President Joe Biden claimed that he almost lost his wife, car and cat in a 2004 fire during Aug. 21 remarks while in Hawaii.

Verdict: Misleading

The fire was insignificant, contained to the kitchen and under control within 20 minutes, according to the local fire department and reporting at the time.

Fact Check:

Biden visited Hawaii in the aftermath of fires that have killed at least 100 people and left hundreds missing, according to The Washington Post. During his visit, he told a crowd a story about a fire at his home in 2004, Insider reported.

Biden said in the remarks that he had a “little sense” of what it’s like to lose a home” and that he almost lost his wife and car in the fire. Biden said, according to the transcript:

“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, what it’s like to lose a home. Years ago — now 15 years ago — I was in Washington doing ‘Meet the Press.’ It was a sunny Sunday, and lightning struck at home on a little lake that’s outside of our home — not a lake, a big pond — and hit a wire and came up underneath our home into the heating ducts — the air conditioning ducts. To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ‘67 Corvette, and my cat. But all kidding aside, I watched the firefighters, the way they responded.”

This story, while containing an element of truth, embellishes what actually occurred. The fire, which was caused by lightning, was contained to the kitchen and was under control within 20 minutes, according to a 2004 Associated Press report. The New York Times reported in October 2022 that “news reports at the time called it little more than ‘a small fire that was contained to the kitchen.'”

“Luckily, we got it pretty early. The fire was under control in 20 minutes,” Cranston Heights Fire Company Chief George Lamborn said to the AP at the time.

The Cranston Heights Fire Company said in October 2022 that the fire was “insignificant” for them, according to the New York Post.

“For the fire service, this could be considered an insignificant fire as it did not lead to multiple alarms and did not need a widespread incident response throughout the county. However, in the case for any homeowner, it was obviously significant at the time and was quickly responded to by the local firefighters,” the department said, per the Post. They also said that “the fire was contained in 20 minutes and avoided significant extension into the rest of the home. However, it still caused damage to the home.”

This is not the first time Biden has told this story. He told it in October 2022 in front of Floridians who were victims of Hurricane Ian, according to The New York Times. He has also told the story in 2021, Fox News reported.

The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii