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Maui fires that burned flood-damaged homes may have been intentionally set

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Two fires that burned flood-damaged homes in Honokohau Valley may have been intentionally set, the Maui Fire Department said.

The first fire started at about 2:45 p.m. Thursday in a single-story home about a half-mile up the valley road from Honoapiilani Highway.

The structure was unoccupied when the fire started and had been washed about 100 yards upland by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Olivia.

Firefighters extinguished the fire.

At about 7:15 p.m. the same day, firefighters were sent to a fire at a two-story home about 100 yards from the earlier fire.

About 50 yards from the burning structure, firefighters also found a pile of wood and other miscellaneous items on fire. Firefighters put out both fires.

No one was living in the second home since the flood, and the owner was planning to fix it up, firefighters said.

Both of the structures are owned by the same person and were in the same area before floodwaters moved the first unit that caught on fire.

Firefighters estimated the damage for both structures at $80,000.

While the cause for both fires remain unknown, firefighters said there is a likelihood that the fires were intentionally set based on evidence gathered at the scene and because of multiple fires occurred in the same area.

Maui police are investigating.

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