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Woman Set on Fire at Convenience Store



    Woman Set on Fire at Convenience Store

    Woman severely burned after being doused in flammable liquid and set on fire. (Published Monday, May 20, 2013)

    A woman is fighting for her life at a hospital after being set on fire Monday morning inside a North Texas convenience store.

    Witnesses said a woman walked into the Buy and Save convenience store at the Texaco gas station on Long Ave. and Azle Ave. in Fort Worth and doused the victim with flammable liquid.

    Witnesses said it "took one second" for the attacker to light the victim on fire after dousing her with the liquid. Witnesses said they couldn't tell how she ignited the fire. They added she didn't say anything to the victim before lighting her on fire.

    The victim's friend, standing nearby, caught on fire as well.

    The attacker got into a car that was waiting for her in the parking lot and they drove off.

    Fort Worth police haven't identified the attacker, anyone else in the vehicle, or the kind of car. Detectives spent seven hours at the store collecting evidence and taking photographs.

    The Buy and Save had surveillance cameras inside the store. Police are looking through those videos now trying to identify the attacker.

    NBC5 spoke with Alex Hilo, the night shift worker at the Buy and Save.

    "I was making the coffee and I see a bunch of fire going, I go and try to help her out. I threw some water on her, to put the fire out. But this thing happened too fast," Hilo said.

    "All I saw was just fire. Somebody threw something and lit someone on fire. It was scary thing," he added. "All the top of her body [was burned]. Her hair, her face, everything was burned."

    Hilo said the victim's screams for help sounded like a "nightmare."

    Moments after the attack, Hilo rushed into action. He grabbed jugs of water from the store shelves and poured them on the victim. He also started grabbing at her clothes.

    "I wanted to take her clothes, there was liquid on it, so I knew if I could get her clothes off, there'd be less fire," he said.

    The victim was transported via helicopter to a Dallas hospital. Firefighters said she has life-threatening burns over her entire body. Her name has not been released because police haven't contacted her family.

    "It appears to be a targeted attack. That's what it looks like right now. This women had some type of previous relationship prior to this incident occurring,” said Tim Hardeman, with the Fort Worth Fire Department.

    The victim's friend was also rushed to the hospital with burns over her back.

    Alex Hilo also suffered minor burns on his hands and forearms from trying to save the women's lives. He was treated on scene.

    "There's no time to think. I had to act fast, fast fast," he said.

    Hilo said the victims are regular customers during his shift, but he doesn't know their names. He also said the suspect is a regular customer, too, but he doesn't know her name either.

    NBC 5's Greg Janda contributed to an earlier version of this story.