An arson investigation is underway from a house fire in Maikiki

Published  10:30 PM HST Jul 20, 2013
HONOLULU -

An arson investigation is now underway. A house in Makiki caught on fire, close to restaurants and shops. Witnesses took video of the house on Beretania Street getting engulfed in flames.

The fire started at 5:30 just as many people were beginning their Saturday night dinners. Those at Dew Drop Inn across from the house watched in awe as the house started burning.

"At one point one of the electrical wires caught on fire and that snapped off. There was a lot of popping sounds. It looked like something electrical was popping inside," said witness Kathy Christensen.
 
The house burned dangerously close to the restaurant Antipastos. The Honolulu Fire Department shut down Beretania Street from Pensacola to Victoria Street, backing up traffic for at least an hour.

"With the smoke coming off it and the heat from the fire, we were just worried about other people getting hurt," said Sgt. Douglas Vollrath, with the Honolulu Police Department.

"You're dealing with a house that's probably been built in the 1930s or '40s very quick at burning. Also, you have everything else very close at hand and that could create a lot of problems," said Capt. Robert Main with the Honolulu Fire Department.

The fire was fully contained just short of an hour after starting. The HFD says the house was abandoned. Investigators say they do believe homeless people frequented the house from time to time. No injuries have been reported.

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