HFD unable to determine what sparked a costly 3-alarm fire in Waialua

Firefighters battling 3-alarm blaze at old Waialua Sugar Mill property

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Fire Department has wrapped up their investigation into a 3-alarm blaze at the old Waialua Sugar Mill property last week.

Damage to the structure was so extensive that investigators were unable to determine a cause.

The fire did however cause nearly $1.2 million in damage.

Dozens of firefighters were dispatched to the fire when it started around 3 p.m. Wednesday. It took crews about an hour and a half to get the flames under control, and longer to have it fully extinguished.

When the fire was at its height, it was sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air.

“The flames were getting close to the top of that cylinder there from behind,” witness Drew Sparrow said while outlining the scene. “I don’t know how tall that is, must be at least 50 feet from the ground. And then I ran around to the other side and took a couple shots and the back side was even more flaming up. It was pretty outrageous.”

Firefighters battling blaze at old Waialua Sugar Mill property

The former mill is home to a number of businesses ― and is also a tourist attraction.

A Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said at least 46 firefighters from 14 units responded to the scene.

“There was a lot of wood in there. As you can see out here in front of the structure, there’s tree stumps. There’s also a lot of combustibles inside,” Lyndon Shima of the Honolulu Fire Department said.

The fire appears to have started in a warehouse that houses a wood shop.

The owner of the warehouse, Dan Moore, spoke to Hawaii News Now via phone. Moore — a well-known big wave surfer — was out of the state on a 10-day snowboarding trip when the fire started.

He landed in LAX and friends kept him in the loop to what was happening.

No injuries were reported.

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