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Police have possible suspect in Punahou fire; no arrest yet

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:09 a.m. HST, Jun 8, 2012

Police said they suspect a 49-year-old woman may have started a late-night fire in the Punahou area that damaged two apartments Wednesday, causing $115,000 in damage.

Witnesses have told police that they saw the woman leave a first-floor unit where the fire started. The woman did not warn any of the building’s residents that the apartment building was on fire. No arrests have been made as of this morning.

Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig said a fire investigator determined that the fire started in a first-floor bedroom of a unit at the Alexander Apartments. A  woman who lives in the unit was alone in the bedroom at the time and escaped uninjured with her two dogs.

No one was injured, but the fire displaced five residents from the two-story apartment building.

The fire spread to a second-floor apartment, damaging a bedroom and a bathroom. A family of two adults and two children who live in the second-floor unit also escaped uninjured. The American Red Cross responded and offered help to the displaced residents.

The first fire companies were dispatched to 1424 Alexander St. at 10:49 p.m. and arrived three minutes later. Firefighters reported that smoke and flames from the bottom floor had extended to the second floor.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control by 11:06 p.m. and had it extinguished by 11:45 p.m. About 35 firefighters responded.

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