Maui firefighters have been busy in the last 24 hours. A five-acre blaze that may have been an “unscheduled cane burn” was called in Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. And today, Gene Simmons’ new restaurant, Rock and Brews in Pa’ia was damaged by smoke and flames.
In the fire Thursday night, Kahului firefighters arrived about 15 minutes later and found grass and brush on fire off South Firebreak road, next to Hawaiian Cement. The fire was reported by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. security that was patrolling the area. About five acres of grass and brush were burned. No damages to structures or injuries were reported.
Firefighters from Kahului, Kihei, and two fire department water tankers responded. HC&S also assisted by sending two water tankers. The fire was contained by 11:54 p.m. and called extinguished at 2:26 a.m. this morning. A fire investigator was called out and the incident remains under investigation.
Then today, at 11:11 a.m., firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at the Rock & Brews restaurant, at 120 Hana Highway in Paia.
Paia firefighters were on scene two minutes later and saw light smoke coming from the restaurant. Employees reported hearing a loud pop then saw smoke in the air. Everyone had been evacuated by the time firefighters arrived.
Investigation found that the fire sprinklers had been activated in the attic space above the restaurant. Fire crews quickly entered the ceiling area and had the fire extinguished by 11:27 a.m.
Paia Fire Capt., Ben Bland, said “It’s a true testament that fire sprinklers really do work and can make a difference to extinguish or slow a fire until fire department crews arrive. Fire sprinklers effectively prevented this fire from spreading throughout the attic and to the rest of the building.”
The fire was determined to be accidental and caused by a fault in electrical wiring. Damages were estimated at $10,000 to structure, $10,000 to contents. No injuries were reported.
Five fire units from Paia, Makawao, Kahului, Kihei and a Battalion Chief responded.
Anyone having information about last night’s fire or any other fire is asked to call Captain Paul Haake, at the Fire Prevention Bureau, 244-9161, extension 23.