A transient man found ablaze in Spanaway last week appears to have been set on fire deliberately, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday.
The 46-year-old man was in serious condition Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he is in intensive care, the hospital said.
Bystanders found the man burning about 10:30 p.m. March 12 outside a business in the 15000 block of Pacific Avenue South, and helped put out the fire.
The man told one of the people who helped him that someone had set him on fire. Since then investigators have been able to speak with the man, and confirmed he appears to have been attacked.
“This is going to be an assault,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Monday. “We do not believe that he had anything to do with setting the fire.”
The motive for the assault is unclear, he said.
The sheriff’s arson detective and other specialty units are working to find out more about the person or persons responsible, Troyer said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips are anonymous and can lead to a reward.