A man is in custody Friday accused of burning down his uncle’s home.
Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at at 94-1047 Lumi Street in Waipio at around 6 a.m.
Two people were inside sleeping at the time, and got out with minor injuries.
All that’s left of the three-bedroom home is a charred shell. The thick odor of burned wood hung in the air.
But the Solmerins say they’re just grateful that everyone made it out alive.
“I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just really tough right now trying to get through it,” said Thor Solmerin.
Solmerin was asleep in his room with a friend when he woke up to his home on fire.
“I felt this heat come from down the hallway and then I heard a scream,” said Solmerin.
When he looked down the hallway from his room, he said all he could see were flames.
“We were trapped. There’s no way that we could get out through the front and my room’s all the way in the back, so all I could see was to get through the window. We just started breaking (the window) with our hands and pushed the screen out,” explained Solmerin.
He escaped with only minor cuts. He said he was also able to save his dog, Big Boy, who was in the garage.
His friend suffered a head injury and needed stitches.
The only other person home at the time was his cousin.
“My cousin had burned his leg because he was closest to the flame,” said Solmerin.
What’s even more shocking is that his cousin may have been the one who started the fire.
Earlier that morning, Solmerin said his cousin came into his room asking to borrow a lighter, but he didn’t think anything of it at the time because he was sleeping.
Police arrested Josiah Routon for arson.
“He kept screaming, ‘I’m sorry.’ Like, he kept trying to apologize and at the moment, it was just too much to handle,” said Solmerin. “It was just shocking that someone you know like that would do that to you.”
Routon was handcuffed and taken to the hospital. Charges are pending.
Police investigators were at the scene talking with family and neighbors.
The Solmerin family said they still have so many questions as to why a member of their own family would do this.
Although they lost everything they own, they say that they will be okay, and will stay with other members of their family nearby.