Honolulu Fire and Police Department officials have begun arson investigations into a Dec. 12 construction dumpster fire that scorched the exterior of the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa in Waikiki.
About 30 firefighters spent nearly half an hour containing the early-morning blaze, which began in a dumpster full of carpet remnants adjacent to the hotel and resulted in a complete evacuation of the 111-year-old building, according to Honolulu Fire Dept. Captain Terry Seelig.
No injuries to guests or employees were reported, but flames from the fire rose as high as six stories, reaching the hotel’s roof, and blew out windows on the first and second floor, triggering the sprinkler system in one of the building’s ground floor concessions.
“The exterior of the hotel’s Banyan wing sustained minor damage,” said Keith Vieira, senior vice president and director of operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, in a statement. “The Honolulu Coffee Company, located next to the dumpster, did receive smoke, fire and water damage, and will remain closed until further notice.”
Hotel operations otherwise returned to normal not long after the fire was extinguished, according to Starwood Hawaii officials, and no guests were displaced.
Seelig said Honolulu police and fire officials are asking for the public’s help in apprehending the individual responsible for the fire.
“The Moana hotel is the first lady of Waikiki,” he added. “It’s our oldest hotel, and for someone to assault the dignity of the community by damaging that hotel and putting people’s lives in danger is just deplorable.”