The Honolulu Fire Department has determined that a fire that broke out at the former Stadium Bowl-O-Drome Saturday was intentionally set making it the property’s second arson in under a month.
The case has been referred to the Honolulu Police Department for criminal investigation. Damage is estimated at $625,000 to the property and $350,000 to its contents.
HFD said in a media release today that the cause of this latest fire was related to a cigarette lighter. The origin of the fire was an upholstered seat near the entrance of the building.
Honolulu firefighters received a 911 call at 11:50 a.m. for a building fire at 820 Isenberg Street. Six units and 22 personnel responded.
Upon arrival, the first unit found smoke showing from the outside of a large commercial building formerly used as a bowling alley.
Firefighters secured a water supply, gained access through exterior doors by forcible entry, and initiated a fire attack with handlines to prevent the spreading of the fire, which they brought under control at 12: 33 p.m.
Firefighters used overhaul techniques to search for hidden fire in void spaces to confirm that the fire had not extended into adjacent areas of the building. Ventilation fans were also used to clear the building of residual smoke. The fire was extinguished at 1:26 p.m.
No occupants were in the building at the time of the fire.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands owns the 1.9-acre property, which is slated for redevelopment into an affordable rental housing project with a 23-story tower and several townhomes.
The Stadium Bowl-O-Drome opened in 1955 and closed in 2004 and has been vacant since, according to DHHL, which acquired the property from the Department of Land and Natural Resources in 1995.
An earlier fire on the evening of Sept. 4 also was intentionally set. It caused a similar resource response from HFD, but resulted in fewer damages. An investigation determined that the earlier fire, which caused approximately $7,000 in damages, originated in a storage room at the rear of the building. Officials did not find anyone in the building during the earlier fire either.