Arson investigation underway after blaze in Waikiki destroys surfboards, damages nearby hotel

Updated: Feb. 28, 2020 at 5:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police released surveillance images of a man they say set fire to the Kuhio Beach Surfboard Lockers. The Waikiki fire destroyed hundreds of boards Thursday night and damaged a nearby hotel.

Cell phone video shows roaring flames towering over man with a fire extinguisher moments after the fire started. He was quickly forced to retreat.

The person shooting the video can be heard yelling, “It’s getting hot! Jesus Christ!”

Within seconds the inferno consumed the racks and forced the evacuation of the neighboring Moana Surfrider Hotel.

Friday morning officials confirmed an arson investigation was underway.

Video released by police shows a young man leaving the scene with a towel around his neck, carrying a clear plastic bottle.

Police sources tell HNN that a bystander found a metallic gas can with some sort of liquid still inside of it about a block from the scene.

In the meantime, the exterior of Waikiki’s oldest hotel is now scarred. The heat enough to shatter windows.

Fire officials estimate 525 surfboards were destroyed in the blaze. Five of which were rescue surf boards that belonged to Ocean Safety. They alone were valued at $6,000.

“Some of those boards stored there were 30 plus years old,” said surf instructor Brian Rudd. “They were made and shaped by people who aren’t alive anymore. They were collectors items.”

As people ponder a possible motive,

“I don’t know if it’s vengeance against somebody. It just effects so many people,” said Marc Rosen.

Many are choosing to see the positive.

Rudd said, “No one in this building got hurt. No one got hurt. And that’s the blessing in it.”

If you have any information about this fire your asked to call Honolulu police.

Blaze destroys surfboards, damages Moana Surfrider

DEVELOPING: A large blaze in Waikiki last night destroyed surf racks, dozens of surfboards and caused damage to the oldest hotel in Waikiki. THE LATEST: #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Friday, February 28, 2020

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