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Investigators find Moana Surfrider fire intentionally set

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:45 a.m. HST, Dec 12, 2012

Honolulu Fire Department investigators have determined that the construction dumpster fire that scorched the exterior of Moana Surfrider hotel early this morning was intentionally set.

Fire officials and police have both opened arson investigations into the 2:44 a.m. blaze that took 30 firefighters 25 minutes to bring under control. No one was injured.

Fire damage was limited to the exterior of the 111-year-old hotel.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said there were no problems with the hotel’s fire alarm system in warning guests about the blaze. Hotel guests were evacuated with no reports of injuries.

Flames from the construction dumpster, which contained carpet remnants, rose as high as the eighth floor of the hotel, Seelig said. The fire damaged the exterior of the Ewa wing of the hotel, which is the oldest section.

There was some water damage to the second floor where the hotel’s offices are located.

There also was water damage to a coffee shop on the street level.

Hotel operations were not affected and no guests were displaced, according to hotel management.

Kalakaua Avenue at Seaside Avenue was closed for 90 minutes and reopened at 4:30 a.m.

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Publicbraddah wrote:
Hotel management has some damage control to do. Warning messages were in Japanese so non Japanese speaking tourists had no idea what was going on and they were pretty ticked that hotel personnel did not do a room by room evacuation.
on December 12,2012 | 06:03AM
allie wrote:
true..major blunder
on December 12,2012 | 06:43AM
elvisdiddy808 wrote:
Maybe I'm ignorant but if all the fire alarms are going off in the building, weren't we all taught that we should all evacuate? Common sense right?
on December 12,2012 | 12:00PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Problem is, some of the guest said they heard nothing.
on December 12,2012 | 12:38PM
DABLACK wrote:
Will fire sprinklers mounted adjacent to the bin enclosures help ?? Hate for our guests to have a rude awakening. By & by they no come back !!
on December 12,2012 | 06:04AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
I've been woken up by fire alarms in hotels twice a let me tell you it is scary as hell when you wake up from a deep sleep in a dark room in an unfamiliar place with strobe lights flashing and alarms beeping and/or sirens howling. And then, once the initial adrenalin jolt settles down all the questions start coming up -- and that's when you need a fully trained hotel staff with an action plan ready to GO!
on December 12,2012 | 06:31AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
BTW of the hotels this happened at (LAX Hilton) had a PA system but it was all in English. Nothing in Japanese and the hotel was brimming with Japanese conventioneers. I can only imagine the confusion that was happening with them.
on December 12,2012 | 06:34AM
cojef wrote:
The Ilikai has false alarms almost everytime we visit Honolulu, which is annually for a month(May/October) each time since 2006. It's vandalism pure and simple, but no one seems to be bother by the alarms. Remember 1 year in the 30/31 days there were 2 false alarms. Scary you bet, but the announcements did not instruct to vacate or exit the condo-rentals, indicate that they checking into the matter and await further instructions. Later announcements indicate, it was a false alarm. Thank God it was!
on December 12,2012 | 08:03AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
We have so many false fire alarms at the Ala Moana Pacific Center that we consider HPD one of our tenants.
on December 12,2012 | 12:40PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Happy tohear no injuries or fatalities. Good work HFD. We can always improve on Hotel safety.
on December 12,2012 | 06:58PM
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