GRAPHIC VIDEO: Man set on fire with gasoline outside of a Glendale Circle K store
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A man is recovering at the Maricopa County Burn Unit after being set on fire with gasoline outside of a Circle K in Glendale. Glendale police say early Sunday morning, officers responded to reports of a man on fire at the Circle K at 59th and Olive avenues around 4:30 a.m. Police say officers arrived and found Blake Angerer fully engulfed in flames. When authorities arrived, witnesses were trying to put out the fire by pouring water over Angerer.
After speaking with witnesses, officers learned that the suspect, Luciano Simmons, had walked into the Circle K moments before the incident and bought gasoline. The clerk confirmed to detectives that Simmons was in the store and bought the gas. Police say Simmons reportedly filled up a water bottle with gasoline and then walked to the nearby bus stop, which is just northwest of the gas pumps. A witness who was at the bus stop with Simmons and Angerer said Simmons poured gasoline on Angerer and then used a blue butane torch to light Angerer on fire.
Surveillance video shows the moments Angerer and the witness run toward the nearby Circle K while the witness tries to put out the fire. Police say the witness, Angerer, and the Circle K clerk were pouring water over Angerer until first responders arrived on the scene.
In the 911 call, the clerk is heard telling the dispatcher to quickly send firefighters and police as Angerer wails in the background. “A person came into my store in flames!” he shouts. He then tells Angerer, “someone’s coming dude, hold on. You’re okay, you’re alive. Don’t worry dude, we got you, we got you.”
The clerk then tries to reassure Angerer and tells him he’s not on fire after they doused him with water. “You’re not on fire man, it’s just your skin,” he says. “Don’t move! You’re going to make it worse.” Angerer continues to cry and scream in the background.
“Where are the burns?” the dispatcher asks. “All over his body! Everywhere! On his leg, his back,” replies the clerk. Angerer then tries to take his clothes off before the clerk stops him. “Don’t take your clothes off! If you take your clothes off you’ll peel more skin off! Don’t do anything, let EMS handle it!” he shouts. The dispatcher told the clerk to continue putting cold water on Angerer until police arrived.
About 30 minutes after the incident, the clerk spotted Simmons across the street and identified him to officers as the man who bought gasoline just before Angerer was set on fire. Investigators found a water bottle at the bus stop that smelled strongly of gasoline and found the pump where the clerk saw Simmons fill up a water bottle with $1 worth of gas. Detectives reviewed the surveillance video, stating it was consistent with statements provided by the clerk.
During an interview with Simmons, he admitted to detectives he was at the Circle K and purchased a small amount of gasoline for his gas-powered bicycle. Simmons was shown an image of a person inside the Circle K just moments before Angerer was set on fire. He confirmed he was the man spotted in the store surveillance video but denied being the person who set Angerer on fire. Simmons was arrested and faces an aggravated assault charge that resulted in serious physical injury. Police say it’s unknown if Angerer will survive his injuries.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.