Hawaii’s two-house fire wall is about to get its own paper, and it’s about to be the paper of record.
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, a Republican, and the state’s two top judges filed suit Thursday against the city of Honolulu and the fire marshal in the first of a series of lawsuits aimed at getting the firewall enforced.
The two lawsuits say that the city is not enforcing its own fire wall, despite the fact that the building code says the fire fence must be “in compliance with state fire regulations.”
As a result, Chin and his office are seeking to have the city and fire marshals “cease and desist from willfully violating the public fire code.”
Hawaii’s fire wall was put in place in 2013 to stop a massive fire that killed at least 19 people.
The wall is designed to keep out wildfires, but fires continue to happen on the islands, and they are also a major cause of the island’s air quality.
Chin said he was concerned that the fire has become so much a problem in the city that he wanted to “get the fire out of the city itself.”
Chang has also sued the city, alleging that it has failed to pay the cost of installing the fire barrier and has failed in its duties to enforce the fire code.
“We are seeking damages for injuries, economic loss, economic impairment, emotional distress and other relief that are likely to be caused by the negligent and reckless conduct of the City of Honolulu,” Chin’s office said in a statement.
In its suit, the state said the city has failed “to protect the public from the deadly and destructive consequences of the dangerous fire conditions,” and has also failed to enforce its firewall.
The state’s suit was filed in federal court in Honolulu.