Man who set himself on fire in Springdale, Arkansas investigated for assault

Monday, January 31st 2005, 6:12 am
By: News On 6

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) An Elm Springs man who police say apparently set himself on fire after dousing himself and his estranged wife with gasoline is being investigated for aggravated assault on his wife, police say.

Springdale police began a criminal investigation after Edward Eugene Pierce, 44, allegedly got into an argument with his wife, Vicki Pierce, at her Springdale apartment Saturday and poured gasoline on both of them. Police say Vicki Pierce was able to get back inside her apartment and shut Pierce out.

Edward Pierce yelled to his wife to watch him; he went back to his car, got a cigarette and lighter and tried to light the cigarette, police say. He caught fire and began running. Apartment residents put out the fire.

When police arrived, they found Pierce banging on his wife's door with his clothes still smoldering. He was taken to Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, where doctors determined he was in critical condition with burns over a large part of his body.

He was transferred to the Hillcrest Medical Center Burn Unit in Tulsa, Okla. The burn unit wouldn't provide an update Sunday on Pierce's condition.