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Suspicious car fires in Kakaako, Nuuanu may be related

By Sarah Zoellick

LAST UPDATED: 11:55 a.m. HST, Sep 04, 2013

Firefighters responded to two car fires early this morning in Kakaako and Nuuanu that are possibly related, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said. 

The first sparked up just after 2 a.m. on Kawaiahao Street in the garage at Stewart's Auto Service, Capt. Terry Seelig said. 

Firefighters noticed when they arrived on scene that the one-story cinderblock building was not burning. However, some wood trim and contents within the garage were becoming involved, so firefighters cut open a locked gate in front of the garage and had the blaze under control by 2:23 a.m., Seelig said. 

It was discovered that two vehicles had been burned: a 1995 Acura and a 2006 Scion, Seelig said. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Damage to the cars; and a small portion of the building and and its contents is estimated at $25,000.

While firefighters were busy fighting the Kakaako fire, another blaze was reported at 2:16 a.m. on the side of Pacific Heights Road, near where it meets up to the Pali Highway, Seelig said. 

The fire involved a Honda sedan that was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

"It did not extend and involve any other property, but it did destroy the car," Seelig said.

The Kakaako fire appears to be intentionally set based on witness reports and other indicators and police have opened an arson case, which indicates malice, Seelig said. 

He said firefighters are still working with police to determine whether the two fires are related. 

"We are treating it as possible a second intentional fire that may be related to the first but we're not sure yet," he said.

Police continue to investigate three vehicle fires that occurred last week Friday that also appear to have been intentionally set, but have not yet arrested any suspects in those cases.

He said this morning that "Police, I'm sure, are looking at (whether all of the incidents are related) because of the similarities between the types of fires and the pattern, however, that's a law enforcement type investigation."

Seelig added, "We are imploring the public to call either Crimestoppers or 911 and provide useful information, because (with) intentionally set fires it's often information from the public that helps law enforcement to find suspects and maybe successfully build a case to prosecute them."

Police confirmed that they are looking into the possibility that all the fires are related but can't say for sure at this point.

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3 vehicles burn in 2 early morning blazes

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HAJAA1 wrote:
Criminal town side! Police should focus on McCully and Manoa areas - they like to set fires.
on September 4,2013 | 09:31AM
Fred01 wrote:
Burning cars is part of the culture.
on September 4,2013 | 10:22AM
allie wrote:
very scary out here
on September 4,2013 | 12:13PM
wn wrote:
Seems like Honda parts theft and fire to mask evidence. The other two reported earlier this week seem to be an effort to cover evidence of theft. Sad.
on September 4,2013 | 02:06PM
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