A woman is being treated in hospital for serious burns after she was set a balze while sitting on the sidewalk in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, said police on Wednesday
“This was a shocking attack that targeted a vulnerable member of our community,” said Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver Police Department.
“We need witnesses and anyone with information to call police and help solve this crime.”
Police say the victim is a 50 year old woman and she was sitting on the west side of Dunlevy near Powell at around 1:30 a.m when a stranger came up to her, dumped a flammable substance on her head and lit it on fire. She immediately ran to a nearby business to get help
The suspect, described as a white man in his 30s, fled the area before police were called.
Investigators are looking into a second incident later the same day. A man called police alleging his homemade structure was set on fire while he was asleep in the south lane of Columbia Street near West 5th Avenue between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. He put out the fire himself and managed to escape without any injuries.
“Investigators don’t believe the two incidents are connected,” adds Constable Visintin. “However, it is still very early in the investigation, so we are not ruling anything out.”
Both arsons remain under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call VPD’s Major Crime at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.