MANCHESTER — A woman has been charged in the death of a township man, who authorities say succumbed to smoke inhalation as a result of a fire that the woman ignited at a neighbor's home.

The April 7 fire consumed the house at 3 Kingfisher Way. The homeowner safely escaped but the fire killed five dogs.

The fire also damaged a neighboring house at 160 Mockingbird Way. A resident of that home, Steve Kundin, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and died May 31 at Community Medical Center.

Authorities on Wednesday charged Dianna Wills, 66, with second-degree aggravated arson and second-degree manslaughter.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said Wills, who lives nearby on Martin Drive, was seen at the front door of the Kingfisher home before the homeowner reported the fire about 9:35 p.m.

Coronato did not disclose a reason Wills may have set the blaze, which he said was started by "an open flame [that] was introduced to available combustibles."

Wills was being held Friday at the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing. New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Wills had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The headline for the story has been corrected to show that the suspect is from Ocean County.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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