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Firefighters contain blaze in historic Hilo building

Hawaii County firefighters say they were able to keep a fire from spreading in an historic, three-story wooden building in Hilo.

One man  was injured in the fire yesterday afternoon in a wood-working shop in the rear of the Moses Building at 100 Kamehameha Ave.

Firefighters said the shop was in flames when they arrived at about 12:38 p.m. yesterday. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the rear of the building.

Damages are estimated at $250,000. But if it had spread to neighboring businesses, firefighters estimate the damage could have totaled $3.5 million.

Firefighters controlled the fire at 1:33 p.m. and had it extinguished at 5:45 p.m.

The building is also the former home of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry. Federal agents raided the building this summer and arrested Roger Christie, the ministry’s founder and 13 other people. Prosecutors allege Christie led a major marijuana growing, processing and distribution ring.

Christie is being held without bail.

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