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MAYOR: REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY RELATED TO WAIAWA FIRES
(Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009) — Mayor Mufi Hannemann joined public safety officials today to ask the public to help identify anyone who may be responsible for suspicious brush fires in the Waiawa area. A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Twelve fires have occurred in the Waiawa/Waipio area since early August, including one that flared up before noon today in the area that burned yesterday. Causes of the fires remain under investigation, but some evidence suggests that one or more were intentionally set.
“We take all matters of public safety very seriously, and we’re seeking the public’s help in indentifying whoever may be responsible,” Hannemann said.
Anyone with information, or who sees any suspicious activity, should call 911 immediately. Anyone with information can also call Crimestoppers at 955-8300, or *CRIME from a cellular phone. The nonprofit Honolulu Firefighters Foundation is offering the $1,000 reward through Crimestoppers.
The Honolulu Police and Fire departments are reestablishing an Arson Task Force to investigate suspicious fires and pursue those responsible, Fire Chief Kenneth Silva said.
“We are putting our community at risk when we have this type of behavior,” said Honolulu Fire Chief Kenneth Silva. “Intentionally set fires are a danger to the community, as well as to our first responders.”
Acting Honolulu Police Chief Paul Putzulu noted that setting a fire is a criminal act, with penalties ranging up to 20 years in prison.
Hannemann noted that all fires, whether intentionally set or not, can put lives and communities at risk.
“When our first responders are busy fighting a fire and protecting the public in one area, it may be harder for them to respond to emergencies elsewhere,” he said. “That’s another reason why suspicious fires should be of major concern to everyone.”
Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928