Honolulu Authorities Seek 'Person of Interest' In Arsons At 3 Waikiki Hotels

Aug 7, 2019

Updated: Aug. 7, 5:22 p.m.

Police are seeking a "person of interest" in connection with three intentionally set fires at Waikiki hotels in recent days. The man was seen on surveillance video at all three arson sites.

Two fires on separate floors were found and extinguished at the Alohilani Hotel on Sunday at 10:05 p.m. The fires caused damage but no injuries.

That was followed Monday at about 7:45 p.m. when someone used an accelerant to start a fire at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. While the guests were evacuated, two rooms were burglarized.

The man seen on video at that fire was carrying at least two backpacks similar to those taken in the break-ins.

On Tuesday, at about 8:38 p.m., a fire at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Grand Waikikian Tower broke out. Firefighters determined it was intentionally set. The same man was seen in surveillance video there.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300. Tips can also be sent in at www.honolulucrimestoppers.org or through the P3 Tips app.

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Hawaii authorities were investigating three fires that were intentionally set in different high-rise resort hotels near Waikiki Beach over the past few days, officials said Wednesday.

A blaze on Monday caused $1.8 million in damage at the 25-story Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger. The fire was near a storage room on the 14th floor.

Each fire began at night in a hallway on a floor with guest rooms, Honolulu Fire Department Captain Scot Seguirant said.

Firefighters have referred the case to police for investigation. No one was injured in the fires. Two of the hotels were partially evacuated.

Police declined to comment. They have not released any information about possible suspects, methods or motive.

The first fire caused $4,000 in damage Sunday at the Alohilani Resort.

A fire Tuesday night broke out on the 28th floor of the 38-story Hilton Hawaiian Grand Waikikian.

Hotel security put out the flames with a fire extinguisher after it caused $10,000 in damage, police said.

Matt Kim of San Francisco, who is visiting the islands with his family, said he saw the road to the Grand Waikikian was closed Tuesday but had no idea there had been a case of arson.

"That's pretty scary, especially security wise," said Kim, who is staying at the sprawling Hilton complex in Waikiki.

He said he would like to see more foot patrols around the area but doesn't plan to change hotels unless officials recommend he do so.

Marc and Mariam Walkowski of Grand Rapids, Michigan, saw the scene at the Alohilani on Sunday night from the 16th floor of the nearby Courtyard Marriott where they were staying.

"The streets were pretty flooded with tourists and people from the hotel," Marc Walkowski said. "It appeared that they evacuated nearly everybody."

People were taking photos and video and were calm, he said.

His wife said they don't plan to do anything differently because of the fires. They'll be careful and not dwell too much on the negative.

"Obviously it's Hawaii and we're enjoying that," she said.