Arson suspect arrested for Ocean View fire, home at total loss

Arson suspect arrested for Ocean View fire, home at total loss
Courtesy: Michael McCormick
Courtesy: Michael McCormick
Evan Prestriedge
Evan Prestriedge

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Big Island man is behind bars after allegedly torching the house where he lives.

Flames destroyed the Ocean View home Friday night, leaving residents with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

Hawaii Island police took a man in his 50's into custody after he claimed he started the fire.

Evan Prestriedge says the arsonist is his stepfather Marty Molina.

"Apparently he took a gas can he had and doused the upstairs in gas and lit the home on fire," Prestriedge said.

Through cell phone video, you can see thick black smoke fill the air on Pineapple Parkway and Hukilau Drive and the two-story home engulfed in flames.

Michael A. McCormick was next door when fire crews arrived shortly after 6:00 p.m.

"I was in my bedroom…watching TV, and a big red glow appeared on the wall," McCormick said.

Prestriedge says Molina and his mother got into a fight that night. After the fight, he said he, his mom, and grandmother left to grab dinner, leaving Molina behind. Shortly after, he says they got a phone call from police saying their home was a total loss.

"My grandfather's ashes, his flag that he was given for being a World War II veteran, irreplaceable things we will never get back."

Prestriedge said he had been trying to put a restraining order on Molina for threatening him and his 24-year-old autistic brother. He says Molina has been mentally abusing the rest of his family members.

"He's paranoid, on psych meds for anger. He was constantly putting my mother and my grandmother down. It was mental abuse, they were basically prisoners in their own homes," Prestriedge said.

Everything Prestriedge and his family own has now turned to ashes. Prestriedge says he hopes Molina stays behind bars, where he belongs.

"He took everything from my family. He deserves to rot in jail."

No injuries were reported. Prestriedge says they do not have insurance on their home. An account has been set up to help the family start over.

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