Man accused of arson in HCCC fire was released from jail that same day

Man accused of arson in HCCC fire was released from jail that same day
(Image: Google Maps)
(Image: Google Maps)

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island police say a 33-year-old man broke into and intentionally set a fire at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo on Monday night.

Police arrested Daniel Blust, of Hilo, for several offenses including first-degree arson and second-degree theft.

Police and firefighters responded to the old section of the facility off Waianuenue Avenue at around 6:40 p.m., where they found cells on the second floor of the building fully engulfed in flames.

Sources say Blust was released from HCCC earlier that same day after serving time for shoplifting.

Officials say they found Blust on the second floor. He tried to run past firefighters, but correctional officers were able to apprehend him until police arrived.

The blaze was put out within minutes.

Two correctional officers were taken to the hospital, where one was treated for smoke inhalation and another for a laceration from trying to extinguish the fire. Both have since returned to work.

All HCCC inmates have been accounted for.

A burglary and arson investigation has been opened.

The second floor of the facility is used as a storage area, and the bottom floor is used by maintenance staff.

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