Arson suspect faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted in Waikiki surfboard rack fire

·1 min read

Oct. 22—A 48-year-old man charged with arson in connection with Sunday's fire that destroyed about 500 surfboards in Waikiki made his initial appearance at Honolulu District Court this morning.

Glenn A. Helton appeared before Judge Melanie May via video conference from the courthouse cellblock on a first-degree arson charge. His bail is set at $70, 000.

More than 35 firefighters responded to the blaze that broke out at the city's surfboard lockers between the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Waikiki police substation just after 11 :10 a.m. Sunday.

Upon arrivals, crews saw the surfboard racks engulfed in fire and thick black smoke.

Flames also scorched the exterior of the Moana Surfrider and substation, according to the Honolulu Fire Department.

Firefighters contained the fire and extinguished it at 12 :01 p.m.

Investigators determined the blaze was intentionally set. Damage was estimated at $650, 000 including $100, 000 to the surfboard lockers, $300, 000 to surfboards, and $250, 000 to structures.

Helton faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

He has a criminal record of two misdemeanor convictions for assault and violating emergency rules and orders and three petty misdemeanor convictions for criminal trespassing, criminal property damage and theft.

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