Woman set on fire in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside: Police
Woman set on fire in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside: Police

Woman set on fire in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside: Police

An investigation is underway in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside after a woman was allegedly set on fire earlier this week while sitting on the sidewalk.

Vancouver police said the incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Monday. A 50-year-old woman was standing near Dunlevy and Powell streets when a stranger allegedly “poured a flammable substance on her head and set her on fire.”

She ran to a nearby business for help and was taken to hospital with serious burns.

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“This was a shocking attack that targeted a vulnerable member of our community,” said Const. Tania Visintin. “We need witnesses and anyone with information to call the police and help solve this crime.”

Police described the suspect in that incident as a white man in his 30s. He fled the scene before investigators arrived.

A second incident is also under investigation, police said. That same day, a man called police to report that his home shelter had been set on fire while he was sleeping near Columbia Street and West 5th Avenue. He told police he put out the fire himself and escaped unhurt.

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Police confirmed to CTV News Vancouver that both victims are homeless.

“Investigators do not believe the two incidents are related,” Visintin said. “However, it is still very early in the investigation, so we are not ruling anything out.”

Police said they do not believe the incidents are related because the descriptions of the suspects are different.

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Anyone with information is asked to call police at 604-717-2541.

With files from CTV News Vancouver, Regan Hasegawa

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