Megale Cole is counting his blessings. He said, he is thankful no one was hurt in the early morning attack on his HI Royalty Records office in Waianae.
He was picking up the pieces of charred mementos that survived the firebomb less then 12 hours prior.
He held up an old photo of himself in his army uniform from basic training more than two decades earlier, the edges charred.
“It’s one of the few pictures I have leftover from those days. I don’t have many of these. It means a lot to me,” he said, holding the partially burned photograph.
The Army veteran said, his military training kicked in as soon as the firebomb exploded through his office door just before 3 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.
“I think my army training is what saved me today. That’s the truth,” Cole said, matter-of-factly.
Cole said, he was working late and stopped to take a break when he heard a crackling noise outside. He said, it sounded like fire so he stood up to check it out.
“I see the crackling through the door. I see the fire, the flames. I see an individual that’s short through the crack in the door,” Cole said. “Next thing I know, I hear the flame, it hits the door and it goes through. lt hits the wall and flame shot off the wall.”
He said, the flames spread to the couch.
“So I hurried up, got my army gear, and put out the fire to the couch. I came back over here and start putting the fire out,” Cole explained as he pointed to the wall above his desk.
That is when the sprinkler system kicked on, helping to put out the fire and minimizing the damage to his office.
“I had a lot of past pictures of my family on the wall so some of that got burnt off. So there’s water damage, computer damage, furniture damage and the carpets of course, it’s a lot of water to drain out.”
But he knows things could have been much worse. Police found evidence from a gasoline bomb once they arrived.
“It was a brick metal Molotov Cocktail bottle. The bottle they used, the Coke bottle, was found here (as he pointed to his desk). It was a metal pipe they used to project it through (the door). We found evidence outside — two pieces of evidence outside,” he said.
Cole got emotional as he talked about the attack he believes may have been racially motivated.
“This was an attack on me as a soldier, as a part-time recruiter, as a veteran, as a father. And again, if this can happen to me here, this can happen to anyone… I don’t hate the person who did this, but I want the world to see this. I wasn’t doing anything wrong but this is our country. This is where it’s at,” Cole said, choking back tears.
Cole said, he spoke to the Honolulu Police Department and the FBI. The investigation is ongoing, according to police.