Two vans burst into flames outside Palolo market, arson case opened

Published On: Aug 30 2013 08:49:00 AM HST

Police have opened an arson case after two vans burst into flames near a Palolo market early Friday morning.

The multi-faceted incident began around 3:30 a.m. when two vans caught fire outside the Rainbow Mart on Palolo Avenue.

Both vans appeared to have been placed on opposite ends of the market; one on the makai side of the store in the parking lot, the other crashed into the storefront.

The second van, which crashed into the storefront, was kept from entering the store completely by concrete barriers placed directly at the store's entrance.

Police have a plethora of evidence to consider in this case, including accounts of the store owner's fiancee who was inside the market when the flames began.

"We've been told that the white van rolled up into the driveway and made a deliberate approach, according to the owner's fiancee who was inside the store at that time," said a Lieutenant with the Honolulu Police Department. "She witnessed the vehicle accelerate and break into the store."

Also to consider for police are eye witness videos apparently showing a suspect leaving the area of the van and jumping into a separate sedan that was waiting idle on Palolo Avenue during the flames.

Those witnesses believe that the sedan that they saw in that video was the same sedan found torched down the street on Kaipuu Street.

That car fire was reported within ten minutes of the Rainbow Mart fires.

Police have yet to officially connect the two car fire incidents.

Slideshow of both car fire scenes.

Police will also scour through surveillance video taken by the store's cameras which were rolling when the flames began.

No injuries were reported in the case thus far.

The fiancee told KITV that she was at the store finishing paperwork and was about to leave when the van crashed into the storefront.

She says she saw three men involved in the alleged arson.

Police found flares at the scene, flares the fiancee believes were used to ignite the vans.

Palolo Avenue was shutdown between Keanu and Paalea Streets for about an hour and a half while police and firefighters investigated the scene.

We'll have more on this multi-faceted scene on KITV 4 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.


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