Arson investigation underway after another surf rack fire in Waikiki
HONOLULU (KHON2) – Honolulu police and firefighters were called around 3.52am on Thursday, November 4 regarding a garbage fire near the Apple Store on Kalakaua Avenue.
According to the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD), as crews put out the fire from a magazine rack, police alerted firefighters that a surfboard rack located about a half-block from houses was also on fire.
Receive news wherever you are with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8 a.m.
The second identified fire was located at the Nalu Storage, adjacent to Cheesecake Factory and the Outrigger Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue.
HFD proceeded to Dukes Lane and extinguished the fire at 4:15 am A few surfboards were destroyed in the fire, but it is not known how much damage was done; the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is investigating this first degree arson case.
This is the third surf rack fire in the region in the past 20 months.
âMy friend called me and told me that there had been another fire here, between the Royal Hawaiian Mall and Outrigger, and that’s where my board is; so I ran to see what was going on, âsaid Patrice Pickering, a part-time Hawaii resident.
Pickering said his board of directors was OK; she kept her board at Nalu’s Storage for seven years and had no problems. She said the owner had security cameras and the area was well lit.
The owner of Nalu’s Storage told KHON2 he doesn’t understand why people are targeting surfboards because sports have been a loophole for so many during the COVID pandemic.
âI just couldn’t believe when I got the phone calls and the news that this was happening,â said Maurie Feldberg, owner of Nalu’s Storage. “I don’t understand why this riff-raff exists in Waikiki as far as it is today.”
Most of the damage appeared to be limited to a small area near Kalakaua Avenue where a few dozen planks appeared to be destroyed. HPD investigators examined the scene Thursday afternoon.
âAs soon as I saw the yellow ribbon, I thought I was afraid it would happen again,â said Waikiki surfer Charlie Roesner. “And it’s really sad because it’s happened three times now.”
Thursday’s fire occurred a block from where 575 boards were destroyed in October. The man accused of the incident of October 17, Glenn helton, is still in police custody and his court appearance is scheduled for Monday, November 8.
Find out what’s going on around Hawaii on our Local News page
No one was injured in the fires on Thursday and no arrests were made.
Feldberg hopes there will be more police presence in Waikiki in the future.