Man arrested in sparking Haleiwa brush fire

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A brush fire in Haleiwa creeped dangerously close to these homes Friday night, in some areas just steps away.

KHON2 went back to the scene Saturday morning to talk to residents about how the fire started and while on scene, some stubborn spots started flaring back up again.

Hoses were still laying out from the night before- when Shawn Langaman and his neighbors were out protecting their houses.

Neighbors were still on edge after seeing how fast and determined the fire moved Friday

“It got closer and closer and by the time I looked back, it was up in our face,” described Shawn Langaman, who lives along Achiu Lane.

The fire started on the other side of this agricultural land, in this neighborhood on Walikanohele Road.

Fire investigators say the cause was accidental.  A man was burning rubbish in his back yard when the fire got out of control.

“The smoke started getting higher and higher and the fire just went crazy,” said Lori Adilla-Rosa, who lives on Walikanohele Road where the fire started.

“I guess the fire jumped over the wall and started burning the farm land and marsh land in the back,” she added.

Police arrested this man, 35 year old Scott Mack, for failure to control widely dangerous means.

Burning rubbish or even agricultural burning is illegal without getting a burn permit from the state Department of Health.

But even with a permit, on windy days like yesterday, burning would not be allowed.

“It kind of made a lot of mad, but we’re happy that no one got hurt, no structures were burnt or nothing like that,” said Langaman.

And he said they are going to make the best of what’s left.

“The same time, we’re kind of happy, a lot of kids here play baseball, we’re looking at this, if we can clean this up we could make a little baseball field,” said Langaman.

Police say Mack has bailed out.

“Failure to control widely dangerous means” is a misdemeanor offense.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §708-824 Failure to control widely dangerous means. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to control widely dangerous means if, knowing that widely dangerous means are endangering life or property, the person negligently fails to take measures to prevent or mitigate the danger and:
(a) The person knows that the person is under an official, contractual, or other legal duty to take measures to prevent, control, or mitigate the danger; or

(b) The means were employed by the person or with the person’s assent, or on premises in the person’s custody or control.

(2) Failure to control widely dangerous means is a misdemeanor. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; gen ch 1993]


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