Waialua fires spark arson investigation

The Honolulu Fire Department believes six fires early Tuesday morning in Waialua were intentionally set. The first was reported shortly after 2:30 a.m. on a small farm off Goodale Avenue. The fire destroyed a shed and damaged a car parked next to the shed. While firefighters were extinguishing that fire five more fires broke out within 50 yards of the first.

"They weren't broadcast fires meaning ambers or hot spots got away from us. They were subsequent fires which is why we consider this whole event to be suspicious in nature and (the fires) intentionally set," said Captain Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.

Seelig estimates the entire area burned by the six fires combined to be less than 1,000 square feet. Only the first fire damaged developed property (shed & car). The other five fires were confined to undeveloped brush land. But if the wind had been whipping, flames could have spread and firefighters already engaged with the first fire could have been trapped.

"Firefighting is a dangerous occupation. We know that. We accept that. But to have people starting fires in areas that the fire could travel and trap and harm the firefighters is really reprehensible. It's something that we want to find who did this so we can stop it," Seelig said.

Seelig said HFD has turned the case over to the Honolulu Police Department which has opened an arson investigation.