Sacred Hearts School
Blaze Studied

Sacred Hearts School

Police and Fire Dept. officials are continuing an investigation this week into a fire which destroyed Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina.

The blaze early last Wednesday (Aug. 18) burned the one-story, 10-room wooden structure to the ground. Fire Dept. reports estimated loss at $300,000.

The school, which had an enrollment last year of 150 students in grades kindergarten through sixth, probably will reopen early next month in makeshift quarters on the school grounds at the corner of Honoapiilani Hwy. and Dickenson St. The school is operated by Maria Lanakila Catholic Church.

Lahaina firemen responded to a small fire in one corner of the U-shaped school building late Tuesday night. They returned to the fire station after putting out the blaze, and later were called to extinguish a small fire at the former Baldwin Packers cannery on north Front St.

Shortly afterward, a second fire was reported at the Sacred Hearts school. Firemen returned to find the building engulfed in flames. Within an hour, the building was burned to the ground. Manuel De Costa, Maui County fire chief, said he did not know if the second fire could have been caused by a flareup of the first. He said there appeared to be no evidence of arson.

Fire Capt. Masao Suehiro of Lahaina said his men completely extinguished the first blaze.

Father Stephen of Maria Lanakila Church said fire men put out the first fire "totally".

The initial blaze involved fires in several paint cans on an outside porch at the north corner of the school building. Suehiro said spontaneous combustion did not seem a likely cause of the fire, because the cans were in a cool, well ventilated area.

The cannery fire caused an estimated $1,000 damage to materials owned by the West Maui Lumber Corp.

Suehiro said the cannery fire was reported by a woman caller who did not identify herself. She was not at the scene when the firemen arrived.

Six firemen and one firetruck were used in fighting the cannery and school fires. A second truck was in the County garage in Lahaina for repairs.

The cannery fire was the third at that site since April. A fire April 30 caused an estimated $7,000 damage to the Pacific Laundry operation in the former cannery. A July 4 fire destroyed a large wharehouse building at the cannery site.

The Sacred Hearts fire was the second major blaze on Maui in four days. Saturday night (Aug.14), the Haiku Post Office burned to the ground.

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Maui Lahaina Sun

Buck Quayle at The Lahaina Sun

Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970

Buck Quayle

Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background

Buck Quayle, 2011


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