comscore Waikiki surfboard racks fire classified as arson; man arrested at scene released
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Waikiki surfboard racks fire classified as arson; man arrested at scene released

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The Honolulu Fire Department has turned over the investigation of a fire that destroyed surfboard racks to the Honolulu Police Department today after determining it was intentionally set.

Sunday’s two-alarm fire destroyed 500 boards and caused significant damage to the exteriors of both the Waikiki Beachside Bistro and Moana Surfrider hotel, the fire department said.

HPD’s Waikiki substation, meanwhile, sustained minimal damage.

Total damage is estimated at $650,000, including $100,000 to the surf lockers, $300,000 to the contents of the lockers (surfboards), and $250,000 to the adjacent building structures, fire officials said.

Ten HFD units and more than three dozen firefighters responded to the fire at about 11:18 a.m. Sunday. The blaze was contained to the surfboard rack and concession stand area and was extinguished just after noon. No injuries were reported.

Honolulu police arrested a 43-year-old man at 11:48 a.m. near the scene on suspicion of arson. He was released at 9:30 Sunday night.

The same surf racks were destroyed in a fire in February of last year. That fire was also determined to be intentionally set, but a suspect was never arrested.

City officials estimated about 525 surfboards were destroyed in the 2020 blaze.

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