Kalihi warehouse fire may have been arson - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kalihi warehouse fire may have been arson

Rick Serna Rick Serna

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu firefighters now say they have reason to believe a warehouse fire in Kalihi was arson, but say they have not yet confirmed it.

The blaze started Friday night.

Flames were so intense, it took firefighters until early Saturday morning to extinguish it.

The fierce fire scorching the warehouse picked up so much fuel, flames shot 20 feet high above the roof.

The smoke was toxic. Firefighters say the blaze consumed a chemical that produces cyanide gas.

That made for a dangerous battle - one that began Friday night and didn't end until 2:00 a.m. the next morning.

"I couldn't believe it of course. I was minutes away eating dinner so for me it was 10 minutes over here and the building was burning, flames off the top," said Rick Serna, the manager of Parker Racor, a reverse osmosis water maker for the military.

It's one of two businesses operating out of the warehouse, located on the corner of Republican and Mokauea Streets.

The other company was Lava Lining, which specializes in truck bed lining.

Serna says he's not sure if the fire was an accident or arson.

"It started in the other business, so I really don't know. It burned through the fire wall and came to this side," said Serna.

As fire investigators sifted through the charred aftermath on Saturday, the two companies tried to pick up what's left.

"There's not going to be any business Monday, there won't be any business for a couple of weeks. we can work out of our home offices keep it going as best we can," said Serna.

Combined, the two companies lost nearly a half-million dollars in the fire.

Firefighters say if they confirm it was arson, they'll turn the investigation over to the Honolulu Police Department.

 

 

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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