A woman in her 50s suffered serious burn injuries early Monday (July 25) morning, after she was lit on fire while sitting on a sidewalk in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
She told police she was sitting on a sidewalk along Dunlevy Avenue, near Powell Street, around 1:30 a.m. when a stranger doused her head in a flammable liquid and lit it on fire.
She immediately ran to a nearby business to get help, and was taken to hospital with serious burns, according to the Vancouver Police Department.
It says the suspected attacker, described as a white man in his 30s, was targeting “a vulnerable member” of the community.
The man fled the area before police were called.
VPD says they’re also looking into another fire-related attack that happened Monday in the same neighbourhood. They say a man called them after someone lit his homemade shelter on fire while he was asleep in the south lane of Columbia Street near West 5th Avenue.
The man says the incident occurred between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. He put out the fire himself and escaped without injuries.
“Investigators don’t believe the two incidents are connected,” Const. Tania Visintin said in a news release. “However, it is still very early in the investigation, so we are not ruling anything out.”
Anyone with information about either arson is asked to contact VPD at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.