MURRAY (ABC4 News) – A woman is fighting for her life at the University of Utah Hospital Burn Unit and a man is in custody after police say he intentionally set her on fire Thursday morning at a Murray hotel.
It was around 3 a.m. when witnesses say a man approached the woman on a second-floor breezeway at the Studio 6 Extended Stay Hotel just off Interstate 215. They claim he doused her with a cupful of liquid and ignited her before running off into the darkness.
Hotel guest Rob Dreyer heard the commotion and emerged from his room to see some people smothering the flames on her with a blanket.
“I ran up the stairs and busted out the fire extinguisher, put the fire out,” Dreyer told ABC4 News. “They already had put the fire out that was on the young lady and put her in the room.”
Dreyer said the woman was badly burned.
“Screaming, pretty bad pain. Fire is one of the worst ways to damage your body because it affects the nervous system and there is no slowing it down and she was in bad pain,” he said. “It’s unbelievably brutal.”
Just before 11 a.m. police tracked down the suspect, 44-year-old Andrew Todd Curtis who they say knows the victim and took him into custody.
Dreyer told ABC4 that hotel management and Murray Police officers ignore rampant criminal activity at that hotel.
“You come to sit here at night and film this place. You’ll see prostitutes. You’ll see drug addicts. You’ll see theft. You’ll see violence,” Dreyer said. “This is Murray. This is the heart of Salt Lake City. We need to stand up and clean up our (bleep) streets and take charge…We all know what’s going on. You see it. You see it. OK? But nobody does anything about it. We turn a blind eye because we don’t want to disturb the boat. Well, kick the (bleep) boat over. It’s time.”
Police say the woman suffered burns on over 70% of her body.