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MPD: House Fire Victim Suffered from Mental Health Issues

Posted October 10, 2013, 11:54 AM HST Updated October 10, 2013, 01:17 PM HST
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Waiehu house fire on Kakae Place. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Waiehu house fire on Kakae Place. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Maui police say the man at the center of yesterday’s arson/suicide investigation suffered from mental health issues, which he reportedly, “believed were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from his past employment.”

Police have since identified the man as 52-year-old Hal Silva, the homeowner of the Waiehu home located in the Oceanview Estates subdivision, which was set on fire Wednesday morning.  The incident was first reported at 6:19 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the home located at 1364 Kakae Place.

In addition to Silva’s remains, police say responding firefighters also found three deceased canines within the home, and an injured canine that was turned over to a local animal rescue company for treatment.

Lt. Jayson Rego with the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, said the man’s wife was home at the time of the incident and called police, “as Silva began dousing the home with gasoline, and began shooting their dogs.”

According to police reports, “neighbors reported hearing yelling and gunshots,” and responding police arrived to find the rear of the home engulfed in flames.

Responding officers were reportedly advised that the homeowner set the house on fire, according to information contained in police reports.

The report further states that responding officers, “heard several gunshots coming from within the home.”

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The investigation is ongoing and includes interviews with family, friends, and neighbors as police seek information to substantiate a motive for the incident, said Lt. Rego.

Although police initially responded to the incident as a “possible abuse in progress case,” Lt. Rego clarified that, “this case is not a domestic violence related investigation.”

According to Lt. Rego, no one else was injured or harmed in the incident.

Police say Silva was previously employed with the state, but did not say in what capacity. Other reports indicate that he was previously employed as a Harbor Master in Lahaina with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

A comment from the department was not immediately available at the time of this posting (but will be amended when more information becomes available).

The investigation is ongoing.

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