Suspect identified in Maui restaurant fire

Claude W. White

A 53-year-old man that was arrested for Thursday’s restaurant fire in Maalaea on Maui has been identified.

Claude White mug

He is Claude W. White. No local address was given. He was arrested for arson and terroristic threatening, both in the first degree. White was released pending investigation.

The back of the Oceanside Restaurant went up in flames as five fire companies responded to the 7:15 p.m. alarm.

The restaurant was open for business at the time, and as the building caught on fire, the customers and staff were safely evacuated.

After the fire was extinguished about a hour later, damages to the building and its contents were estimated at $300,000. No injuries were reported.

Officials say the fire was contained to the outside wall of the back of the restaurant, and the attic above the kitchen.

There was also some water damage inside due to crews battling the fire.

The blaze prompted police to shut down Honoapiilani Highway between Kapoli Street and Maalaea Road for about an hour and 15 minutes.

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