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Firefighters extinguish Chinatown blaze

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:18 a.m. HST, Mar 20, 2013

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of a three-alarm fire that burned the second floor of the McLean Building in Chinatown late Tuesday night.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said damage to the building was $80,000 and $20,000 to its contents.

Firefighters responded to the the 11:24 p.m. alarm at 1121 Nuuanu Avenue and arrived on the scene at 11:30 p.m. to find smoke billowing from the second floor on both sides of the building, which houses Inidigo Restaurant and Bar, Seelig said.

About 60 firefighters were able to aggressively attack the fire, running a fire hose inside the building, Seelig said. Although firefighters managed to keep the blaze confined to offices on the second floor, the fire had burned through the ceiling, which is right below a common attic, Seelig said. "If it burns, it's going to contribute significantly to fire spread," he said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by 12:03 a.m. and extinguished by 12:38 a.m.

The owner of Indigo said the restaurant will open for business today, Hawaii News Now reported.

There were no injuries reported.

The Hawaii Council for the Humanities said the building was erected after the devastating Chinatown fires of 1899-1900. The fires destroyed earlier wood buildings on the site. In its earliest years, the building contained the shops of Chinese merchants and tailors. Businesses were located on the ground floor, residences on the second floor.

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