A massive fire destroyed a historic theater and a restaurant in Pahoa overnight.
The fire occurred at about 11:45 p.m. Sunday, according to resident Ryan Finlay. He said he woke up at about midnight and smelled something similar to a campfire.
When he walked out to his front yard, he saw the glow of the fire from the Akebono Theater about a quarter-mile away from his home.
There were no reports of any injuries.
Details on the fire from the Hawaii County Fire Department are pending. Police shut down a section of Pahoa Village Road from Kaleo’s Bar & Grill to Kauhale Street to investigate.
Finlay said he heard there was a small fire in an area behind a vacant pawn shop adjacent to Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant and Akebono. The fire quickly spread to the restaurant and theater.
Finlay said the blaze destroyed Luquin’s and the Akebono.
The restaurant owner, who also owns the Akebono, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Finlay said his church, Grassroots Church of Puna, met every Sunday morning at Akebono Theater for the past decade. Concerts were also held at the nearly century-old theater.
“It’s a big loss for Pahoa,” said Finlay in a phone interview from Pahoa.