By Ramsay Wharton
SALT LAKE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police say 25-year-old Andrew Patton started a fire in his downstairs bedroom at this Ukuli Street in Salt Lake around 11:30 p.m. Monday.
Honolulu firefighters kept the flames from destroying the two-story rental unit with multiple tenants. Investigators removed evidence from the bedroom where Patton and his girlfriend lived.
An upstairs tenant, Navy Petty Officer Gene Feliciano, was on the computer when the fire broke out and leaped into action.
"Well, I just heard a loud bang right and then all of sudden, I saw a flame right there," said Feliciano as he motioned to his back window. "I saw flames outside the window and then I called 911 and then I grabbed the garden hose and started to try to fight the fire, because I didn't want the whole house to burn down, so. And I didn't want, you know people to die."
None of the three people home at the time were hurt, including Eufemia Mendoza, who lives in the room next to Patton. She says Patton's girlfriend wasn't home at the time, and the couple was having relationship problems.
"I heard the door open and close and slam hard. I looked down to see who is that but I don't see anybody anymore," said Mendoza. "Then I hear, wee, wee, wee, wee, you know the smoke alarm. I thought somebody is backing up. So I don't pay attention, I lay down again, then all of a sudden, boom, an explosion."
According to Mendoza, Patton and his girlfriend moved into the room about a month ago. Mendoza says the couple fought often.
Patton and his girlfriend worked together at the Ruby Tuesday's restaurant at the Moanalua Shopping Center. Management says there were no major problems with Patton in the workplace.
Mendoza says she never saw Patton get physically abusive with his girlfriend, but they verbally argued a lot. On Saturday, she said police were called to the home when Patton tried to move his girlfriend's property out of the house.
"All of her stuff you know, like the dresser, all of it is outside, he is throwing it," described Mendoza.
Mendoza describes Patton as polite and a quiet person. She said she's surprised he's accused of starting the fire. But she added, that Patton's girlfriend revealed to her Monday night at the scene after Mendoza called her to report the fire, that Patton had called her and asked her, "How would you feel if you lost everything?"
Police booked Patton on three counts of attempted murder at the Pearl City police substation. He was later transferred to the main cell block.
Charges are pending.