A two-alarm vehicle fire at Mercedes-Benz of Honolulu forced police to close Kapiolani Boulevard for about 2 1/2 hours today.
Honolulu fire Battalion Chief John Bowers said the first call came in at 9:52 a.m. and nine fire companies responded with about 35 firefighters. Police closed Kapiolani Boulevard between Dreier Street and Ward Avenue shortly afterwards.
Firefighters found a personal vehicle on fire on the third floor of the garage at 818 Kapiolani Blvd., Bowers said.
He said the car, a convertible, was on a lift and firefighters had to break open the hood to extinguish the fire. The car was destroyed, and the lift was no longer operating, stuck with the car in the raised position.
A sprinkler system helped contain the fire and firefighters quickly brought it under control, but the water traveled down to the first floor and delayed the reopening of the roadway.
Bowers said the trouble was caused by water from the sprinkler system and hoses draining into vents in the floor. The vents were connected to an exhaust duct system that was designed to hang from the ceiling on the floor below, but the ducts became heavy with water from the vents and fell on personal vehicles below.
Firefighters spent a couple hours cleaning up some of the water damage.
Bowers said damage on the third floor was largely contained to the car and the lift, but some of the vehicles on the second floor may have sustained damage from the collapsed duct system.
He said Mercedes-Benz has a check-in area on the first floor, a parking lot for customer vehicles on the second floor, and the repair area on the third floor.
A manager at Mercedes-Benz said they were not allowed into the garage during the firefighting operation and did not immediately have a comment.
The road remained closed with nine fire trucks parked along Kapiolani Boulevard.
Budnamujip and Yanagi Sushi, two restaurants located between Cooke Street and Ward Avenue, said the closure significantly slowed business at lunch time.
Police said the road was reopened at about 12:30 p.m.