Investigators working on second arson case in less than a week

Published On: Sep 04 2013 02:39:15 PM HST   Updated On: Sep 04 2013 09:23:41 PM HST

Honolulu police and fire investigators are searching for answers following two separate arson cases that occurred Wednesday morning.

Fire crews were called to Stewart's Auto Service on Kawaiahao Street just after 2 a.m.

Security guard Tom Barton was among the first to call 911.

"I was on the roof about ten after 2 a.m. on the property I have, the parking area.  I saw black smoke and glanced over, saw fire at the gate area and immediately called the fire department," said Barton.

One witness told police he saw two men dump some sort of liquid in front of the auto shop, then throw a flare.

Honolulu fire crews quickly put out the flames, containing most of the damage to the front of the business, where two vehicles were burned in the blaze.

About 10 minutes later, a second fire was reported on Pacific Heights Road.  Police said it was a stolen car from the Makiki area.  It was also confirmed that the torched Nissan Altima was the same car that was seen fleeing the scene of fire at Stewart's Auto Service.

The shop's owner, who didn't want to go on camera, said he has no idea who would do this to his business.

This latest arson investigation is the second in less than a week.

Honolulu police are still looking for the suspects behind the torching of two vans outside of the Rainbow Mart in Palolo Valley and the getaway car.  The explosion and getaway were all caught on video.

The two cases are strangely similar but officials are not yet linking the cases.

"We don’t know if they’re related, however there is enough concern that everyone should pay attention to the fact that intentional fires can do a lot of inadvertent harm," said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig.           

Police are asking anyone with information on either case, to call Crimestoppers at 955-8300.

Damage was estimated at $25,000.  Investigators are still looking into the exact cause of the fire.


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