Police investigating whether early-morning fires connected to Palolo arson

Kawaihao garage fire

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It was a dramatic scene on Kawaihao Street just after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Honolulu firefighters used a powerful saw to get into an auto repair warehouse.

“The fire burned two cars and some of the wooden elements of the building, the trim, the door, and some of the contents of the warehouse,” Capt. Terry Seelig said.

The fire damaged Stewart’s Auto Service. The owner didn’t want to talk on camera, but told KHON2 he’s been at the location for 16 years with little to no trouble.

Wednesday morning’s fire was found to be intentionally set.

“We work closely with police who have opened an arson investigation in this fire, as well as a second fire. A lone vehicle fire that happened about 10, 15 minutes after this fire,” Capt. Seelig said.

A witness told KHON2 he saw two men start the fire then get in a sedan and take off.

HFD was later called to a car fire at the base of Pacific Heights Road in Nuuanu.

This incident concerns HFD because it resembles what happened last Friday when a van was crashed into Rainbow Mart in Palolo and set on fire.

“Only in the sense that they happened in the same times of the night, with certain patterns of a second fire to a lone vehicle. It’s not been confirmed that that’s exactly what happened here,” Capt. Seelig said.

Authorities could use the public’s help.

“And it’s not just about information about the actual event at the time. But maybe you know things about people in your neighborhood that might who might have been associated with this,” Capt. Seelig said. “It’s only through the efforts of the community that we can find the people who are responsible. If anyone has information, they should call CrimeStoppers or the police.”

Damage to Stewart’s Auto Service is estimated at $25,000.

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