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Police suspect Aiea man started fire that burned him and his home

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A 66-year-old man is suspected of setting the fire that destroyed his Aiea home Thursday afternoon, Honolulu police said today.

The man is in critical condition in the hospital with burns suffered in the fire at a cottage at 98-139 Honomanu St. He has not been arrested, police said.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire that started in the back of the cottage, said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig.

A good Samaritan helped the man, who lives alone in the cottage, climb out of a window, Seelig said.

Other bystanders tried to put the fire out with garden hoses, including one man who apparently inhaled smoke. Paramedics treated him at the scene.

A larger home next door also sustained heat damage. Damage to the next-door home and the destroyed cottage was estimated at $70,000. 

About 40 firefighters responded at 2:07 p.m. to the two-alarm fire, which was brought under control by 2:12 p.m.

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