Police seek aid to locate arsonist
Blazes set at the Health Department and a car repair site raise suspicion
Police are asking for the public's help in solving several recent arsons, including one at the state Department of Health building on Punchbowl Street.
The Health Department fire happened on Tuesday at about 6:20 p.m. at the entrance of Kinau Hale, located at 1250 Punchbowl St. Witnesses said the suspect fled on foot.
When deputy sheriffs searched the area during the fire, they found no one. And when they returned to the scene, the witnesses had already dispersed, leaving authorities without a description of the suspect, police said.
The fire caused about $10,000 in damage and forced officials to close the Health Department building down for a day. In addition to the fire, the building's front glass doors were shattered.
Fire Capt. Emmit Kane said a flammable liquid had been poured inside and outside the building's entry.
A second intentionally set building fire happened on Jan. 22 at about 8:50 p.m. at a cement bunker near the Firestone Car Service Center on Dillingham Boulevard. The fire burned about 200 scrap tires in the bunker.
It then spread to the service center, causing structural damage to the building, police said.
Meanwhile, several trash bin fires have been reported near the Firestone service center in the last three to four weeks, all between 8 and 10:30 p.m.
No witnesses have come forward.
Police said they are unsure whether there is more than one person involved in the arsons or whether they are related.
Anyone with information on the fires is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.
CrimeStoppers will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to a suspect. All calls are confidential. For information, go to the CrimeStoppers Web site at www.crimestoppers-honolulu.org.