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Woman charged with arson after fire consumes her, damages nearby building, report says

Chandell Kenawell is charged with arson after setting a fire that burned her and caused damage to a nearby building, documents say.
Chandell Kenawell is charged with arson after setting a fire that burned her and caused damage to a nearby building, documents say.

HOUSTON – A woman has been charged with arson after investigators said she caused a fire that damaged a strip center in west Houston, according to probable cause documents.

The fire had spread to the woman, causing serious burns to her skin. She was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

The fire was reported Tuesday at 4282 S. Kirkwood Road.

The woman, Chandel Kenawell, initially told investigators that someone had poured the lighter fluid on her and set her on fire. Now, charging documents say otherwise. 

After interviewing witnesses and other business owners in the strip center, police believe Kenawell entered a market in the strip center, purchased lighter fluid and walked to the front of a business, which is also located in the strip center, reports say.

About 40 minutes later, surveillance video shows "a fire starting low to the ground" at her location. No one was seen on the video in her immediate area from the time she sat down to the time the fire started, according to the report.

The fire caused roughly $2,000 in damage, the report says.