DENVER (AP) – Police searched Friday for two men who used a pump sprayer to douse four people with a flammable liquid at a Denver apartment and then set them on fire.
One woman was seriously injured in the attack that rattled a northwest neighborhood.
“Who would do something like this? What kind of animal is he?” Maria Gomez, a neighbor who did not know the victims, told the Denver Post.
The men came to the door of the apartment in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood on Thursday night, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. A woman who answered the door was sprayed with a liquid by one of the men and another threw a lighter on her, setting her afire, said Raquel Lopez, another police spokeswoman. The men then set fire to two men and another woman inside the home.
Duane Ramirez, 50, said he was in the backyard of his niece’s house, where the attack occurred, when he heard someone yelling repeatedly, “They got a torch.”
Moments later, the victim ran out the back door screaming and rolled around in the grass in a desperate attempt to put out the flames, he said.
“They doused her in her face and the front of her body,” Ramirez said, adding that he smelled petroleum after the attack.
The flames were out when firefighters arrived. The woman who was doused at the door was in serious condition at University of Colorado Hospital. The other three victims suffered minor injuries. Two young children inside the home escaped through a back door, said neighbor Mary Abdullah said.
“Somebody got the kids out,” Abdullah said, adding that she lent her neighbors some coats because their coats had gasoline all over them.
Lopez confirmed that two children were in the house, but she didn’t know their ages. A motive for the attack has not been released
The attack occurred in a sprawling complex of brick row apartment buildings next to warehouses and older detached homes.
Police were also investigating a check cashing store robbery earlier Thursday in which two men used a flammable liquid to set a small fire at a customer service window. In that instance, the suspects used a similar pump sprayer, Lopez said.
No one was hurt, and it wasn’t known if the incidents were related. The store is about three miles east of the apartment complex.
An employee at the check cashing business said Friday she was not allowed to comment about the robbery. Burn marks were still visible on the glass that separates employees from customers, and a wall behind the clerk’s desk was blackened by flames.
Associated Press writer P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments