Arsonists tried to light a small business on fire in California this week, but not before catching themselves on fire.
Surveillance video footage from the business showed masked vandals dousing the front of Servicio de Imigracion, a tax and immigration service in Bakersfield, with gasoline and attempting to light it on fire. Flames suddenly erupt while the two criminals are still standing in front of the building, and both run away from the blaze screaming. Police are still investigating the incident.
In the video, taken by surveillance video cameras outside the business, two vandals wearing dark clothes with bandanas covering their faces walk up to the front of the building, holding canisters of gasoline. A floodlight turns on at the motion, but they walk away from it. The two vandals walk up to the front of the building and begin pouring the gas around the front perimeter. One of the arsonists then lights the gasoline, which immediately ignites in their faces, which catches them both by surprise.
The first suspect scrambles away with flames lapping his right leg; the second one tries to get away, but slips and falls on the sidewalk. He gets up and immediately falls again. The flames catch the right arm of his hoodie. He screams audibly as he runs away with his sleeve on fire. A second angle showed that the flames caught on the second man’s shirt tail and lit his back on fire as well.
Firefighters told local news outlet ABC 23 that they were able to put out the fire within 10 minutes after they arrived on scene. The damage was contained to a garage, they said.
The owner of Servicio de Imigracion, Max Solorzano, told the outlet he was disappointed in Bakersfield officials for not doing enough to keep the city safe. “They have to work harder in that aspect, in keeping the community safe,” he said in an interview. “We are a small business and we help many people, so there will be people who will not be able to receive our services due to inactivity. That is what most saddens me. We help many farmworker families with their immigration processes, we help people do taxes. We ask our clients to have patience with us, we will get through this.”
The schemes of hasty criminals have a tendency to go up in flames. A man in Utah who was attempting to steal fuel from a parked truck in Salt Lake City, Utah, accidentally lit himself on fire, as The Daily Wire reported in June. The thief was attempting to siphon gas, in broad daylight, from a box truck parked outside Summit Fire and Protection in Salt Lake City when he caught fire and was forced to run away from the truck, local NBC affiliate KSL-TV reported.
Then in October, Arkansas State Police accidentally lit a man on fire when they attempted to tase him after a high-speed chase in Little Rock. Unbeknownst to the Troopers, the suspect had a canister of gas in his backpack; the taser prongs likely punctured the can, the YouTuber who posted the video wrote.