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Man arrested as murder suspect in Liliha fire

  • photographed the scene of a deadly fire on Liliha Street yesterday. One man died and 22 people were left homeless when the rooming house was set ablaze just after midnight. Fire officials say the fire was intentionally set.

  • Fire ivestigators examine the scene of an overnight fire at 1909 Liliha Street.

Police arrested a 43-year-old man in connection with an arson last month in Liliha that killed a 76-year-old man.

James Kimo Moses, who has no local address, was found at a homeless camp at Ahui and Olomehani streets  at 3 p.m. Thursday. Police arrested him on suspicion of second-degree murder, arson and promoting dangerous drugs.

The fire happened at a rooming house at 1909 Liliha St. about 12:30 a.m. Feb. 2 and left 22 people homeless. 

Clarence Isobe was pulled out of the two-story, wooden building and died that day at the hospital of burns. Two other people were treated and released.

Honolulu fire investigators determined the fire was intentionally set outside the residence, and damage was estimated at $300,000.

Isobe lived in the back of the second floor. His body was found at the front of the second floor and he may have been trying to get out when he was overcome by smoke and heat.

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