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Arson suspected in Palolo, Moiliili vehicle fires

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:03 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2013

Police and fire arson investigators are looking into three Friday morning vehicle fires in two different places  a Palolo market and a dead-end street in Moiliili.

Firefighters were dispatched at 3:28 a.m. to Rainbow Market at 1720 Palolo Ave. where they found a van on fire.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said the driver of the van apparently tried to break into the Palolo market by driving through its glass front doors. Metal stanchions in front of the swinging doors stopped the van.

The van was then set on fire, Seelig said, and is considered a total loss. A second van in the parking lot also was set on fire.

It took firefighters 21 minutes to get the two fires under control.

The fires caused $60,000 damage, $20,000 to each of the vans and $20,000 to the exterior of the building, Seelig said. The fires did not cause any damage to the interior of the store. No one was injured.

Police closed Palolo Avenue between Keanu and Paalea streets for about an hour this morning, reopening the area at 5:18 a.m.

Firefighters also were called to extinguish a car fire at 3:34 a.m. on Kaipuu Street near Kapiolani Boulevard.

Arson investigators from both the Police and Fire departments are also looking into that fire which destroyed the Honda sedan. Seelig estimated damage to the car at $5,000.

Seelig said the fire was intentionally set. Kaipuu Street is a dead-end road and the apartment buildings on the street are under renovation, he said.

He said he did not know if the two incidents were related.

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