Dog saves Kaimuki family, police search for arsonist

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Nala is a rescue dog from the Hawaiian Humane Society. But Thursday night, she was the one doing the rescuing.

“Thank goodness for the dog ’cause the dog was barking, so everybody kind of woke up,” resident James Lopes said.

Thank goodness for the dog and alert neighbors. Six adults and a toddler are safe because of their actions.

“A neighbor came running at our door, said there was a fire, that somebody threw something at the window.  So we got out ran out from the room. The fire was over here, son-in-law moved this. They dosed it with water inside. I was outside with a water hose shooting what I could,” Lopes said.

Fire and police officials confirm what Lopes said. Somebody did throw something at the window of the Kaimuki home and have opened an arson investigation.

“What the neighbors told us, the guy was going up and down on a moped, and then they heard a ‘took,’ and then they came down, and seen fire and they yelled, ‘Fire, fire.’  And the guy was standing outside on the road. I guess he was watching to see if the house was really going to catch on fire,” Lopes said.

The investigation is still in the early stages and the suspect remains at large.

“As far as we know, there’s nothing they could have done to prevent this from happening. This appears to be either random or even if it’s targeted, it’s a despicable act. It’s very dangerous,” Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig said.

“So, no reason whatever that you know of?” KHON2 asked.

“No, we have no reason,” Lopes said.

Capt. Seelig says quick thinking by the residents kept damage to a minimum — $5,000.

“This device that was thrown into the house, put those people at grave danger. They could have suffered a tragic injury,” Capt. Seelig said. “These people who reacted to it were fortunate to have their dog and neighbors alert them.”

Related story: Police open arson investigation after Molotov cocktail thrown into Kaimuki home

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