Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Honolulu Fire Department firefighter worked to extinguish hotspots in brush along Vinson Road in Kalaeloa, where a brush fire started yesterday. A 17-year-old boy allegedly started the fire that burned 40 acres and was fought by multiple HFD units. The fire started along Vinson Road, near the intersection of Corregidor Street.

Boy says fireworks
started Kalaeloa fire

The 17-year-old is in custody
after crews secure the 40-acre fire

A 17-year-old boy surrendered to police yesterday after allegedly starting a 40-acre brush fire accidentally in Kalaeloa while playing with fireworks, police said.

The juvenile suspected of starting the fire was in custody at the Kapolei cellblock last night, police confirmed.

The youth told police he was playing with fireworks on Vinson Road near the intersection with Corregidor Street close to a baseball park when the fireworks "jumped" into the brush and started the fire, police said.

Firefighters contained the fire, which started at 3:51 p.m., by 7:35 p.m. Prevailing winds blew makai and did not threaten any homes or other buildings, fire Capt. Emmit Kane said.

The fire was in a mostly open grassy area, between 300 and 400 yards from any homes, Kane said.

Honolulu Police Department and Department of Defense police evacuated White Plains and Nimitz beaches due to smoke being blown in that direction, although the fire did not threaten those areas, Kane said.

About 70 firefighters from 14 Honolulu Fire Department units and at least two federal firefighting units fought the blaze.

The area, formerly Barbers Point Naval Air Station, contains many empty structures including Quonset huts, Kane said. Despite the abundance of dry brush as potential fuel, access roads created firebreaks and contained the brush fire, he said.

Last week, a 13-year-old Leeward Coast boy was arrested on suspicion of second-degree criminal property damage in the brush fire that destroyed nearly 3,000 acres in Nanakuli Valley and in the adjoining Lualualei Valley.

That fire rekindled yesterday deep in Nanakuli Valley in a previously unburned area, Kane said. The Fire Department's helicopter was called back to Nanakuli about 3 p.m. yesterday making water drops until dark.

Honolulu Fire Department

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