Monday | November 20, 2017
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Man arrested for Hilo jail fire

A 33-year-old Hilo man was arrested Monday evening after allegedly setting part of the old Hilo jail on fire.

According to the state Department of Public Safety, jail staff noticed a light coming from the second floor of the building at about 6:40 p.m. and responded with fire extinguishers. The building is unoccupied and used for storage.

As fire fighters cleared the top floor, police say Daniel J. Blust emerged from a cell that was partially on fire and ran past them. He was detained by a Hawaii Community Correctional Center officer until patrol officers arrived.

According to Pubilc Safety, Blust was released from the jail Monday for time served.

One correctional officer was treated for smoke inhalation and another for a laceration sustained during efforts to extinguish the fire prior to the arrival of fire fighters.

Blust faces charges of for first-degree arson, second-degree burglary, two counts of fourth-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

Police say the latter charges stem from the subsequent discovery that vehicles near the building were damaged and items were removed. The suspect did not require medical attention.

No inmates were in danger and no evacuation was needed, police say.

There was no attempt to break into the secured perimeter and all inmates were accounted for, according to Public Safety.

Blust is being held at Hilo cellblock while detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section continues the investigation.


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