Monday, February 5, 2001
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Posted on: Monday, February 5, 2001

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Advertiser Staff and News Services


Elevator fire no accident

A fire in a 24-story Waikiki apartment building yesterday left residents, some of them elderly or disabled, without elevator service this week.

Capt. Richard Soo of the Honolulu Fire Department said the fire at the Ala Wai Townhouse, 2412 Ala Wai Blvd., was intentionally set in one of the building’s two elevators.

The threat of smoke damage to the controls also left the second elevator inoperable until elevator technicians have examined each part.

The fire appeared to have been set about 1:19 a.m. yesterday. When firefighters arrived, the first elevator car was engulfed in flames. More than 30 firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and to assist building managers and residents with evacuating each floor.

Fire investigators and police detectives are working to determine what was used to set the blaze, Soo said. Damage is estimated at $2,000 to the car.

Otis elevator technicians will work this week to restore service, he said.

Firefighters recently have fought two other fires in the same building, both of which appeared to have been intentionally set, Soo said.

Soo said the Ala Wai Townhouse is a secure building. Keys or swipe cards are used to enter the lobby and the elevator.

Irwin park to be restored

Plans to restore Irwin Memorial Park, once the gateway to Honolulu for world travelers who arrived by steamship, are to be unveiled this week.

Renovation of the park, which now holds parking stalls for the Aloha Tower Marketplace, is an effort of Scenic Hawaii Inc., the Historic Hawaii Foundation and the Outdoor Circle.

Landscape architects Loriann Gordon, Randal Fujimoto and Allan Fujimori and urban planner John P. Whalen studied 1930s photographs and documents before developing the plans, which complements Aloha Tower.

Irwin Memorial Park was a gift to the Territory of Hawaii by Helene Irwin Fagan in 1930. It was listed on the state’s Register of Historic Places in December 1999.

The groups will unveil the plans Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the park.


Motocross rider injured

A man was in guarded condition yesterday at the Queen’s Medical Center after crashing his motorcycle at the Kahuku Motocross Track.

Fire Capt George Ku of the Sunset Beach Fire Station said the accident occurred in a remote area. Firefighters had to hike in to get the man, and hike back out of a gully carrying him.

Other motorcyclists assisted, Ku said.

The 24-year-old man suffered a broken forearm, a broken leg and head injuries. He was taken by helicopter to Queen’s.


HECO flights to make noise

Hawaiian Electric Co. will use a helicopter today to transport construction materials to three locations that are difficult to access by road: Kailua Beach Park, Maunawili and Round Top.

Crews will be doing maintenance and replacing wooden poles.

Flights will begin about 8:30 a.m. and continue until about 3 p.m.

Nearby residents are advised that there will be extra noise during this period.

Watershed meetings set

Three public meetings have been scheduled to discuss a draft of the Kailua Bay Advisory Council’s Final Technical Program Report regarding water quality in the Koolaupoko Watershed area.

Meetings are scheduled for:

7 p.m. Feb. 15 at Kalama Beach Park, 248 N. Kalaheo Ave., Kailua.

7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Kaneohe Community and Senior Center, 45-613 P¬¯hala St., Kaneohe.

7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Waimanalo Public and School Library, 41-1320 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo.

For more information, contact Don Bremner at 261-2494.

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