Blowtorch attack injures Chandler woman, fiance

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

CHANDLER, Ariz. – A Chandler native is fighting for her life after being involved in a bizarre attack involving a blowtorch in Puerto Rico.

Kate Donahue, 25, had just flown there to celebrate New Year’s with her fiance, Jesus Sanchez. The couple flew to Puerto Rico to visit his family to celebrate after getting engaged two weeks ago.

Police said Sanchez’s uncle launched a fiery, deadly attack by making a torch with a stick and a cloth dipped in fuel.

Investigators said the suspect doused the victims in fuel with a propane tank and swung the torch around until there was an explosion.

Two family members died as a result of the attack. Nine others, including Donahue and Sanchez, were taken to the hospital in San Juan.

Donahue’s family has flown to be by her side. Justin Stein, a family friend who is traveling to be with Donahue, said, “It’s not something you’d think would happen to people you care about."

Police arrested Sanchez’s uncle for the deadly attack. Police have not released a motive.

The family’s church, Chandler Christian, is raising money to fund a medical transport to help bring Donahue and Sanchez back to the burn unit in the United States.

Stein said the couple is lying next to each other in medically induced comas. They both suffered second- and third-degree burns all over their bodies.

To donate funds, go to the Chandler Christian Church website.