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Love triangle leads to gasoline fire with man, woman critically hurt

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Hawaii County police have opened an attempted murder investigation after a woman allegedly doused her estranged husband with gasoline and used a lighter to set both of them on fire near a Kailua-Kona beach park.

The pair were taken to Kona Community Hospital and transferred to Straub Clinic and Hospital in Honolulu, where they remain in critical condition with third-degree burns, police said. 

The 53-year-old Kailua-Kona woman had confronted her 55-year-old estranged husband, who was with another woman in a van parked on the roadside at Kahaluu Beach Park in Kona, according to a police report.

“When the woman began to pour gasoline on the vehicle, the man exited the van, and the two became involved in a physical struggle that ended with gasoline being poured onto their clothing and bodies,” police Lt. Gerald Wike reported in a media release.

“According to witnesses, during the struggle the woman used a lighter to set both herself and the man on fire,” the release said. 

Lifeguards at the beach park heard screams and came to help put out the fires and treat the victims with oxygen. Witnesses used a blanket and towels to extinguish the flames. 

Alii Drive near the beach park was closed for about four hours while police investigated.

Police ask anyone who saw the confrontation to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646 or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us. 

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. 

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