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Thursday, July 20, 2000

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
TV news videographer Alan Johnson views lands left
barren by a 300-acre Waipio brushfire, which started about
3 p.m. Tuesday and was extinguished at 4:12 p.m. yesterday.

Arson may have
begun brush fire

Police classify the case
as second-degree criminal
property damage, a felony

By Jaymes K. Song


A police arson investigation has been opened into the brush fire that scorched more than 300 acres in Central Oahu this week after a suspicious device was found in the area yesterday.

Fire crews discovered what appears to be an "incendiary device" on the pole of a wooden fence along a dirt road leading to the Waiawa Correctional Facility, said Capt. Richard Soo, spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department.

No further description of the item was given because of the investigation.

"It is only a possible cause (of the brush fire) at this point," Soo said today. "More tests have to be done by HPD."

A cause not been officially determined, but as with most brush fires, it is believed to have been caused by a person. The blaze shut down the H-2 freeway for four hours Tuesday.

Police classified the case as second-degree criminal property damage, which is a felony. According to a detective's report, no suspects have been identified.

Firefighters doused several flare-ups fueled by gusty winds yesterday. They declared the blaze extinguished at 4:12 p.m.

Fire crews were called out today at about 4 a.m. to move a tree that had fallen onto Mililani Memorial Park Road, leading to the cemetery. Firefighters cut the tree into pieces and moved it to the side.

The crew surveyed the area this morning but could not see any major hot spots, Soo said.

No one was injured, and no structural damage has been reported.

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