HANA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui police are searching for an arsonist believed to be targeting a State Senator.
J. Kalani English's East Maui home has been set on fire twice in the past three months. Arson is also suspected in the fire set to his home back in May. English was off-island both times.
The most recent fire happened last week and did about $2,500 in a damage. English said it would have been a lot worse if weren't for his family and friends who sprang into action.
"It was a small propane tank lit underneath the house on the joist facing upward burning the floor," said English.
"The backside of my porch is pretty much destroyed into the kitchen and then there's a big hole in my living room because it was burning from underneath," he said.
First responders found a blue propane tank ignited underneath English's home last Wednesday.
The Senator lives the tiny town of Hana in a home his grandparents raised him in on Haneoo Road surrounded by his relatives and close friends. He said luckily his dear friend Janet Six was only about 100 feet away when the blaze broke out.
"I ran up the stairs and opened the front door and I could see a portion of the carpet was bubbling and black…it was sort of a relay team. Scott came running up the driveway, and we handed off the fire extinguisher to the Scott," said Six.
"Looked underneath and I could see a propane torch basically stuck underneath his house with flames flapping in between the joists and I hit it with a fire extinguisher and it went out," neighbor Scott Crawford said.
The arson investigation has rocked the small community, especially since it has happened twice and no one who the suspect or suspects could be.
"It's just completely unthinkable, unthinkable to try to burn somebody's house down because you disagree with them. And everybody should be repulsed by this and frightened by the fact that we have somebody who's capable of doing this," said Crawford.
"To set the house on fire it's like releasing a bomb in this neighborhood…there are several neighbors immediately around that would be impacted by something like that," Six said.
English says he recommends keeping fire extinguishers in or near your home.
"This is a very cowardly way to go about dealing with whatever issues they have, and it disrupts not only me, but disrupts the entire lifestyle in east Maui…Hana, because we don't do this and this is not acceptable," said English.
If you have any information that could help with the investigation, call Maui Police.