Monday, December 31, 2001

Woman’s death in Kunia
van fire probed by police

By Nelson Daranciang

Honolulu police have opened a homicide investigation after discovering the body of a woman in a burned-out van in Kunia today.

HPD Lt. Bill Kato said the van was on a dirt road in a farm lot. Honolulu firefighters discovered the body after responding to a vehicle fire at the Garst Seed Co. at 94-880 Kunia Road.

Firefighters from the Waipahu Station received the call at 6:08 a.m., but it took them 11 minutes to get to the scene because Kunia Road had been closed due to downed power lines.

The fire engines were also slowed on the soft dirt road leading to the fire, said Capt. Roland Harvest, Waipahu Fire Station Commander.

When they arrived, firefighters found three vehicles on fire, a van, a pickup truck and what appeared to be an old school bus.

Firefighters quickly got the flames under control, but Harvest said the vehicles were burned pretty badly.

At 6:47 a.m. they discovered the body inside the van.

"After the smoke cleared down, we looked inside," Harvest said.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.

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