POSTED: 8:01 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2012
Police have arrested a 66-year-old Aiea man who suffered burns when he allegedly started the fire that destroyed his Aiea rental cottage a month ago.
Ross Gudel was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with first-degree arson after he was released from Straub Hospital. His bail was set at $250,000 and he is scheduled to make his initial appearance in District Court today.
Police said witnesses heard a loud explosion on May 31 and saw the cottage at 98-139 Honomanu St. on fire.
The fire department said a good Samaritan helped the suspect, who lived alone in the cottage, climb out of a window. Other bystanders tried to put out the fire with garden hoses, including one man who was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics at the scene.
The suspect was taken in critical condition to Straub.
A larger home next door also sustained heat damage to its exterior.
Damage to that house and the destroyed cottage was estimated at $70,000.