Fires break out at cemetery plagued with problems, cause under investigation

Fire officials are looking into whether fires at a Pearl City cemetery may have been intentionally set.

The Honolulu Fire Department says there were two small fires at Sunset Memorial Cemetery, the same cemetery that has been plagued with problems for years.

Fire officials tell us a small shed went up in flames, and crews had to put out another fire on the other side of the building.

They say no one was hurt, and there was no one around when they arrived.

“There was a small brush fire that started up on the back side of this residence, and actually we’re going to have our investigator take a look into that, and we’re going to be checking to see if there’s any evidence of a malicious fire on that one also,” said Battalion Chief Craig Uchimura. “We’re not sure if it was embers that may have traveled or if it was intentionally set. It’s undetermined at this time.”

The building is considered to be a total loss. The shed that caught on fire has been a problem in the past with homeless people living there.

Just this weekend, the Pearl City Neighborhood Board met with the community to figure out how to clean and maintain the cemetery.

Darrell Salvador, who is leading the effort, says he wants to tear the shed down, but that can’t be done until they can clear up liability issues.

He notes that liability has been a stumbling block to nearly everything that is needed to clean up the cemetery, but promises he and other volunteers will keep trying to come up with a solution.

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