Truck Driver Cleared in Maui Arson Investigation

July 16, 2019, 4:52 PM HST · Updated July 16, 4:52 PM
Wendy Osher · 2 Comments
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Maui Police fire investigation vehicle. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui police say the operator of a truck seen leaving the area of the Hoʻokele Street fire when it started on Friday, has been ruled out as a suspect in an ongoing arson investigation.

On Friday, police sought help looking for a possibly maroon-colored Ford dually-type truck, early to mid-2000’s model with truck racks.

Today, police issued an update saying, “The Police Department has contacted the operator of the truck and determined them not to be a suspect in this investigation.”

Police went on to say, “The public’s assistance in locating the truck is appreciated and continued support is still needed to find the person(s) responsible for the recent fires.”

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The Puʻunēnē fire burned an estimated 200 acres before being brought under control. It started a day after separate fire was reported in Central Maui near the Kūihelani Highway / Waikō Road intersection. That fire quickly spread and jumped two highways, forcing major road closures and resulting in evacuations for North Kīhei and Māʻalaea communities. By Sunday, it had burned 9,000 acres.

Both fires were declared 100 percent contained on Monday, but extinguishment is still underway as crews respond to hot-spots and continue mop-up operations.

Tips relating to the Maui Police Department arson investigation can be emailed to [email protected], called in to (808) 244-6434 or dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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