The owner of a Kaimuki home that was heavily damaged in a fire today was arrested on suspicion of starting the fire, according to police records.
The 50-year-old man, who has not been charged, was arrested at 10:50 a.m. on suspicion of first-degree arson, police booking logs show. He was arrested nearby on 4th Avenue after witnesses identified him as a suspect, police said.
The suspect is listed as one of the owners of the property at 3257 Brokaw St., according to county property tax records.
Honolulu firefighters said the blaze started as a vehicle fire in a garage that spread to the two-story structure at about 9:45 a.m. Some 30 firefighters responded and extinguished the blaze in about 40 minutes, said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Scot Seguirant.
He said one man reportedly lived in the home, but no one was home at the time.
Firefighters determined the fire was intentionally set and turned the case over to police. Damage from the fire was estimated at $640,000, Seguirant said.
Neighbors said the house was put up for sale recently. It is still listed as for sale on Zillow.com for just over $1 million.
Neighbor Alyssa Wooten said she smelled smoke and was checking outlets in her home when she looked out her window to see black smoke coming from the house next door.
She grabbed her baby and ran out of the house, while yelling at her neighbors to also get out.
“It’s scary,” she said. “I’m just happy that we’re all okay.”