Bungling arsonist sets himself on fire

USA Today:-Police in Madisonville, Ky., searched this week for an alleged arsonist who accidentally set himself on fire while attempting to burn down a hair salon on Sunday.

Surveillance video of the incident, released that day by police, shows a man tossing what appears to be a Molotov cocktail at a building before the flame roars back, engulfing his leg in fire.

Unable to stamp the flames out, the man races off, tripping headlong into a grassy area before tossing his flaming sneaker across a parking lot. Leaving his burned shoe behind, the man limps back to the white van in which he arrived and gets more fuel for the fire before driving off.

A woman in a cap accompanied the man.

Lt. William Poe of the Madisonville Police Department said the video resulted in many tips for an investigation it appears will involve multiple states. Poe credited the salon, called Aura, for investing in security cameras.

“Maybe we can’t catch the people red-handed, but if business owners spend a bit of extra money, then it increases the probably of capture by who-knows-what percentile,” Poe said.

The event took place around noon Sunday. On Monday morning, Aura’s owners walked into the building and smelled fuel, Poe said. Seeing glass knocked out in the back of building and noticing some fire damage, they called police.

Damage to the building wasn’t extensive, Poe said, probably thanks to the bungling suspect himself.

“I think the excitement of him getting caught on fire kind of distracted his attention,” Poe said. “He did try to continue the fire, but between the tile flooring and the drywall the accelerant just burned itself out without catching anything on fire.”

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