'Suspicious' Kailua house fire causes $1.2 million in damage

'Suspicious' Kailua house fire causes $1.2 million in damage

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kailua house fire that Honolulu police officers have deemed "suspicious" on Friday night caused an estimated $1.2 million in damage to the two-story home.

Honolulu firefighters first arrived on the scene at 296 Iliaina Street shortly after 6 p.m. to find the home completely enveloped in flames. Firefighters extinguished the two-alarm house fire around 8 p.m.

The Honolulu Police Department soon opened an arson case in connection with the fire due to suspicions about the flames' origin, according to police sources.

On Saturday afternoon however, Honolulu firefighters deemed the fire "undetermined", which means that HFD officials believe there isn't enough evidence to narrow it down to a specific cause.

The home involved in the fire is listed under Brian Benton, the owner of Dive Oahu. Benton's company was recently the target of canoe vandalism and harassment after a deal for Kuhio Beach concessions went sour.

Benton's teenage daughter was home during the fire, but no injuries were reported.

"We did have one resident who was home of the time. She was alerted by a barking dog and managed to get out of the house safely," said Jeff Sanchez, Battalion Chief with the Honolulu Fire Department.

A witness, who did not want her name to be published, said she heard three loud explosions.

"I just heard a loud pop...so I came out to see what was happening and my neighbor's side yard was on fire and it took off really fast...flames took off on the side of the house," she said.

Benton declined an interview, but said he gave his surveillance video to police.

This story may be updated.

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