FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Honolulu Fire Department firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire last night at the Royal Kuhio Hotel in Waikiki. All guests were evacuated from the building.
Fierce blaze breaks out at hotel
A three-alarm fire on the seventh floor forced the evacuation last night of the Royal Kuhio Hotel in Waikiki.
The seventh floor was an open area reportedly used for recreation, and preliminary reports indicate the fire might have resulted from supplies and equipment from a construction project in the building, said Honolulu Fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.
The fire, reported about 8:25 p.m., was under control 20 minutes later, with teams of firefighters searching stairwells to make sure that the guests had evacuated safely.
On the street below, roughly 100 to 150 evacuees crowded the sidewalks near the 38-story hotel at 2240 Kuhio Ave.
Between 44 and 50 firefighters responded to the blaze, and two companies made it to the fire floor, Kealoha said.
Police blocked off the adjacent streets, Royal Hawaiian and Seaside avenues, to make room for fire engines.
Kealoha said a hazardous materials team was investigating 5-gallon containers of liquid, which had not yet been identified at 9:30 p.m. yesterday.
Two injuries were reported, including a firefighter who suffered a possible broken finger, and a female tenant who was taken by an ambulance to an area hospital, Kealoha said. Kealoha did not know the woman's complaint.
Former school clerk on probation
A former clerk for Kamehameha Schools was placed on five years' probation and ordered to pay $21,000 restitution for stealing from her employer.
Cynthia Uyeda, 34, was working in the summer school office between July and October 2003 when she obtained unauthorized refunds using a credit card terminal and credited her personal bank and credit union accounts on 43 separate occasions, prosecutors said.
Uyeda was facing a maximum 10 years in prison.
But under a plea agreement, the parties agreed that she not serve jail time. She has no prior convictions.
"She basically apologized, took responsibility and agreed to pay restitution in the amount she took," said Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter.
The defense could not be reached for comment.
In court, Deputy Public Defender Debra Loy told Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall that while Uyeda is not currently working, she is hoping to be back to work full time and expects to pay off the full amount.
Troubled main to be replaced
All lanes on Farrington Highway were reopened Monday night after Board of Water Supply crew members repaired a 24-inch water main that ruptured Sunday.
Residents from Ko Olina to Makaha were asked to conserve water and a contraflow was set up for motorists as crew members worked to repair the main.
The main is the same pipe that ruptured near the Kahe Power Plant in June, which cut water to 12 homes. Thousands of residents on the Leeward Coast also were affected.
Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Su Shin said plans were made to replace the aged main prior to the recent rupture.
Delta Construction Corp. is slated to replace the main that stretches from Aliinui Drive to Old Farrington Highway. Work is scheduled to start in January. Cost of the project is estimated at more than $12 million.
Police, Fire, Courts
Boy in hospital after 2-story fall
A 2-year-old boy was in critical condition after falling out of a second-floor window Monday.
At 5:04 p.m., emergency officials responded to 4155 Fincher St. at Halsey Terrace Navy housing near Salt Lake, where the boy had apparently fallen.
The boy was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, said Bryan Cheplic, Emergency Medical Services spokesman.
Teen allegedly shoots BB at man
Police arrested a 17-year-old boy who allegedly shot a passer-by with a BB gun earlier this week.
On Sunday, a 45-year-old man was walking along a footpath near an Ewa Beach park. Police said the man saw the boy shooting his BB gun, and when the man passed by, he felt a sting to his lower back. The boy then allegedly dropped the gun and fled on foot.
Police found the boy Monday and arrested him for investigation of second-degree assault.
Traffic encounter leads to gun threat
A 21-year-old man allegedly pointed a gun at another man during a traffic confrontation, then tried to evade police Monday.
About 3:45 p.m., a 26-year-old man was cut off by another car while traveling along Kalanianaole Highway near Hawaii Kai, police said.
The man followed the suspect car until it stopped near the Halona Blowhole, police said. The suspect in the other car leaned out the vehicle and pointed a gun at the victim, police said.
The victim called police, who caught the suspect in Waimanalo.
Police said that as he was being arrested for investigation of first-degree terroristic threatening, he tried to escape. He was captured on Laumilo Street after a short foot chase, police said, then arrested on suspicion of second-degree escape.
Man is sought in extortion try
Big Island police are asking the public to help locate a man in connection with a home invasion extortion attempt at a downtown Hilo apartment building.
Officers responding to the reported burglary Saturday morning determined that a 48-year-old male was confronted within his apartment by an intruder known to him. The victim reported being held against his will, assaulted and threatened while within the apartment. Threats included an extortion attempt by the suspect.
Police are seeking a 44-year-old man for questioning in the investigation. He is described as a local male, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 145 pounds, stocky build, with brown hair and hazel eyes.
Police ask anyone with information to contact Detective Robert Hatton of the Department's Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2380 or the Police Department's nonemergency number at 935-3311.
Knife wielded in alleged threats
Police arrested a 36-year-old man who allegedly threatened another man at a rooming house.
The suspect and a 53-year-old man live in adjoining rooms of a rooming home on Algaroba Street in McCully. About 4:40 p.m. Monday, the victim was about to enter his room, and the suspect came to the doorway of his own room, police said.
Police said the suspect appeared intoxicated and was holding a knife in a threatening manner. The victim went into his room, locked the door and called police. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening.
Alleged escapee caught after 6 days
Police yesterday apprehended a 46-year-old convicted felon who allegedly escaped from the Laumaka Work Furlough Center.
Police said Tod M. Crain failed to return to the center on Nov. 7.
He was arrested 9 a.m. yesterday at 46-005 Kawa St. on investigation of second-degree escape.