Friday | October 20, 2017
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Fire damages popular Hilo restaurant

An early Sunday morning fire described as “suspicious” in origin at an eatery in Hilo’s Kanoelehua Industrial Area was extinguished by “good Samaritans” before the arrival of firefighters, according to the Hawaii Fire Department.

According to a written statement, eight units responded to a 3:28 a.m. alarm at Blane’s Drive Inn at 150 Wiwoole St. with the first unit arriving six minutes later.

Arriving firefighters noted smoke still wafting in the interior of the building, but the fire was already out, extinguished by private citizens who reportedly kicked in the door and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher found inside the building. The good Samaritans also reported the fire, which burned a 12-feet by 6-feet area outside the takeout counter.

No one was injured and no roadblocks or traffic detours were needed.

Firefighters did an initial investigation of the building and remained on scene before turning it over to fire inspectors and Hawaii Police Department.

Property damage was estimated at $14,400, while the quick action of the civilians reportedly saved $625,000 worth of property.

At about 7 a.m. Sunday, a fire inspector walked the department’s arson dog, Kaimi, through the scene while a police detective looked on.

The Fire Department said the cause of the blaze was still unknown, but of suspicious origin and investigation by both fire inspectors and police is ongoing.

The Tribune-Herald was unable to contact Blane’s to ask if the restaurant will be open Monday.

Email John Burnett at


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