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Woman charged with arson in fire of Ocean View house she rented

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DARYL LEE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
Hawaii Island firefighters at the scene of a fire that destroyed a rental home on the 92-8800 block of Reef Circle Mauka on Wednesday.

Hawaii island police charged an Ocean View woman with arson in connection with a fire Wednesday at the house she rented.

On Thursday morning, 36-year-old Emily Smith of Ocean View was charged with first-degree arson and third-degree assault.

The assault charge was for allegedly striking a firefighter who responded to the house on Reef Circle Mauka on Wednesday morning, police said. He did not require treatment.

A neighbor shot video of the woman feeding the flames.

"She threw other things onto the fire — boxes of clothes,”  Jordan Anger said by telephone Wednesday. "She was grabbing whatever she could. She was in a rage, obviously not well.”

After determining that the fire was set intentionally, police arrested Smith at the scene, police said.

Anger saw 15-foot flames coming out of the house, so he called down to the woman, “Hey, your house is on fire, you better get out.”

That’s when she lit a bag and threw it in, Anger said.

“She said, ‘It had to burn,’” he said. “Flames were everywhere.”

 

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