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Woman indicted on charge of setting fire to former home in Kalihi

A 37-year-old woman has been indicted on a first-degree arson charge after she set fire to her former home in Kalihi, police said.

Kuulei Bitonio, who has no local address, was being held Monday at Oahu Community Correctional Center with a $50,000 bail. She was indicted Thursday.

Bitonio was seen placing a blue Peter Pan child’s chair that was smoking and on fire in front of her former unit at 1203 Peterson Lane, according to a District Court police affidavit. She then ran into the unit’s bathroom.

Bitonio’s grandfather extinguished the fire on the chair and asked what she was doing. When Bitonio came out of the bathroom, witnesses saw smoke and a burnt electrical cord, the documents said. There was minor damage to the bathroom.

Bitonio tried to flee in her car, but was blocked in by a truck. She parked her car and ran away behind neighboring properties, court documents said.

A witness saw her run and followed her in a vehicle on Houghtailing Street near Peter Buck Park. Police arrived and arrested Bitonio about 6:30 p.m. June 12.

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