A man in Florida has been hospitalized in critical condition after police say he inadvertently set himself on fire while attempting to set fire to his estranged wife.
Matthew Wong, apparently distraught with the state of his 25-year marriage, filled a couple of empty bleach bottles with gasoline and headed over to his wife’s residence.
He then sat and waited for her to leave for work Monday morning.
When the woman exited her apartment, Wong began chasing her around the complex, threatening to kill her while splashing her with gas – dousing himself in the process.
An alert neighbor heard the commotion and grabbed 46-year-old Gloria Davis, pulling her into a nearby apartment.
“I had to bring her up because she kind of fell,” said Capitola Scott. “She was so hysterical, so I grabbed her to bring her on up here.”
Wong then allegedly doused the entryway and bushes surrounding the apartment where the woman was hiding, screamed, “I’m gonna to kill you!” and flicked his cigarette lighter.
“All the sudden I heard something say ‘woosh’ and flames just went up,” Scott recalled.
That “woosh” sound she heard was Wong going up in flames.
She says the flames shot all the way up to her door. She and Davis were about to jump from the second floor, when other neighbors started dousing the flames with fire extinguishers.
“When I saw the flames go up, I knew he was trying to kill everybody up in here,” said Scott.
Neighbors quickly extinguished the flames, and an unconscious Wong was transported to the hospital. Davis, fortunately, was uninjured.
A search of Wong’s vehicle revealed a gas can, gloves and a roll of tape. Deputies say a blanket was taped to the rear window, and black garbage bags covered both of the rear side windows.
Investigators say they don’t currently have a motive.