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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 12, 2010

Fire that destroyed home possible arson, hate crime

Advertiser Staff

Police detectives are reviewing surveillance videos of vehicles that were seen entering and leaving the main entrance of the gated Kapalua community where a fire Saturday evening gutted a six-bedroom house, the Maui News reported.

The fire, reported at 5:42 p.m. Saturday and believed to have been intentionally set, caused an estimated $5.5 million in damage to the 14,000-square-foot house at 226 Keowa St. and $3 million to its contents.

Police said they are investigating evidence that hinted at a hate crime toward the victim after the words "payback haole" were etched into a van parked near the home in the Honolua Ridge subdivision.

But police said they are looking at other possibilities as well, and the fire may not have been a hate crime. The first-degree arson investigation is continuing.

No one was injured in the fire, which was not extinguished until 12:48 a.m. Sunday.

At the time of the fire, homeowner Greg Brown was vacationing in Colorado with his children and fiancee, Julie Mitchell. Brown, a Realtor, estimated the damage at about $10 million.