Man sets apartment breezeway, self on fire, South Daytona police say

Police: Man suffers severe burns after arson attempt

SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. - South Daytona police say a man who tried to set an apartment building on fire while accidentally setting himself on fire is now in the hospital.

Police were called to the Spanish Villa Apartments at 1685 South Ridgewood Ave. around 9:42 a.m. Saturday for a disturbance that turned into an arson.

Police said a resident with a small child sleeping in the apartment advised a man, identified as Arthur Avery, was banging on the door.

Avery was allegedly yelling for someone by the name Dred. The victim said there was no one by that name or did not know who Dred was, but Avery outside yelling accused them of lying, police said.

Police said Avery had a gas can with him and began to pour the gasoline in the breezeway between the apartments.

Avery also poured gasoline on a mattress that was under the stairs, police said.

Police said Avery lit the gasoline on fire in front of the apartment and the stairs.

Residents on the second floor had to be rescued by fire officials and everyone on the ground floors was able to escape out their back doors, police said.

While setting the blaze Avery set himself on fire and fled the area in a vehicle with two other men, police said.

Police said Avery was trying to put out the flames on himself as his clothing burned. During that process he dropped a set of car keys and his wallet with an ID inside.

Witnesses told police that they could see Avery's skin coming off his arms and identified a passenger that got out of the car to help put the flames out on his friend.

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