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Crime News Breaking News

Florida Man Allegedly Sets Another Homeless Man On Fire During Drunken Argument

Another person was injured trying to extinguish the fire, and both he and the man doused in gasoline and set aflame have been hospitalized.

By Gina Tron

A drunken fight at a Florida homeless encampment turned horrifically violent on Saturday morning after one man allegedly doused another with gasoline before setting him on fire, according to reports.

The incident happened in a wooded area, about 600 feet away from the homeless camp, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Someone called police to report a fire, and when authorities arrived on the scene they found 60-year-old James Heffernan suffering severe burns to approximately 75 percent of his body, police said.

He was transported to a local hospital along with another man, 64-year-old David Mahoney, who had suffered burns to his hands and feet while trying to extinguish the fire.

Police also found the firestarter, 44-year-old Harold Rosenbaum Jr., who was uninjured.

All three men found at the scene were intoxicated, police said.  

Police said that after an investigation they determined that Heffernan and Rosenbaum got into an argument inside a tent at the camp. It soon escalated and became physical, police said, adding that Rosenbaum followed Heffernan after he left the tent.

At some point, Rosenbaum allegedly picked up a can of gasoline and continued to follow Heffernan. Mahoney later told police that as he exited the tent he saw Heffernan fully engulfed in flames, and he rushed to put the fire out.

Police believe that Rosenbaum poured gasoline onto Heffernan and set him on fire. He has been charged with one count of attempted murder.

Mahoney remains hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries while Heffernan remains in critical condition.  

[Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]

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