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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Firefighters seek help in catching arsonist

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Authorities are requesting help in catching the person responsible for a series of brushfires in Central O'ahu.

The firebug is believed to be responsible for 15 small brushfires over the past three weeks. The person at times also seems to be taunting firefighters by setting a fire near another fire as it is being battled.

"So the guy's watching one fire burn and starting another. Real daring," said Capt. Richard Soo, spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department.

None of the fires has exceeded five acres, nor has there been any property damage. However, in two instances, police closed the H-2 Freeway and Kamehameha Highway in Waipi'o because of the threat from flames.

Soo said there is the prospect that eventually one such fire will spread to populated areas.

"We're very lucky that he hasn't caused property damage. That doesn't mean that this person can't start something that might get out of hand," Soo said.

He added that battling each brushfire is exhausting and hampers responses to other areas in Central O'ahu.

Soo asked residents to call 911 if they see someone starting a fire.

"If they hear rumors or hear someone bragging that he's the guy, they should call CrimeStoppers (955-8300)," Soo said. "Hopefully, with the public's cooperation, we can bring these senseless brushfires to a halt."