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On Friday afternoon, July 18, at about 12:30, a man apparently set himself on fire next to the Home Depot parking lot, across the street from the Valley View Casino Center.

The victim had been taken away by ambulance and an area was cordoned off with police barrier tape by the time I came on the scene.

Firefighters giving a statement to police

The victim was found by two firefighters in training from Miramar. They didn't want to talk to me, but I overheard one of the firefighters giving a statement: “We were coming out of the Home Depot parking lot and I could see he had zip-ties around his wrist and was holding the gas can on his shoulder, it looked like he was going to set himself on fire. I ran and got my turn-out gear and came back out with a bottle of water and poured it over him. He dropped to his knees.”

A police officer declined to give a statement.

A security patrolman said he didn't see the victim but he heard him screaming and he saw black smoke.

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pearljammed July 27, 2014 @ 9:25 a.m.

Do not like busy bodies who drive town around looking for tragedies like this to write about. This chick is bogus.


Mercy Baron July 29, 2014 @ 10:18 a.m.

Your pearl must be jammed. I don't drive around looking for tragedies, I was out running errands and came upon this when they had Sports Arena Blvd, blocked off.

This is how I've found most of the over 70 neighborhood news stories I've written. I keep my eyes and ears open like all good reporters do.

Bogus? What the hell are you even talking about??


pearljammed July 30, 2014 @ 8:07 a.m.

Always looking to get some kind of prop to oneself in any kind of comment--both here and in the OB Rag, Go back to hanging with the old ladies at Woman's Club, Mercy. You are not a good reporter and your lame stories that you do get printed in The Reader are due to your brown-nosing, no doubt.


Jay Allen Sanford July 30, 2014 @ 9:50 p.m.

I find this a fine neighborhood report, especially since neither the police nor firefighters were willing to give the press any on-site statements. The fact that this frequent contributor was still able to file a brief but informative report, on an incident completely unreported elsewhere when she filed it, seems to me a tribute to the strengths of the Reader's whole "citizen journalist" program --

These neighborhood blurbs aren't meant to be Pulitzer fodder. They're simply newsbits caught in an increasingly widening net that allows for more comprehensive "on-the-street" coverage of what's happening all over our city. While everyone else's reporters are reading police blotters and paraphrasing press releases, the Reader's contribs are filing on-the-spot eyewitness reports on events that almost never see ANY coverage, ANYwhere else. That's probably one of the reasons that the Reader recently topped the Village Voice as the highest-circulation alternative weekly in the U.S. (http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/Directories/Newsweeklies)


Mercy Baron Aug. 2, 2014 @ 6:29 p.m.

Wow, you seem to actually know a bit about me PJ. Yes, I proudly belong to the OB Woman's Club, but if you TRULY knew what goes on there, you would know that it is NOT a bunch of old ladies, we have plenty of women in their 20's and 30's who proudly believe in doing something for their community and giving back, as that club has done for 90 yrs now. Why don't you try coming to our meetings, meet me and then maybe you'll let go of this uncalled for and vindictive rant you seem to be on..

Brown nosing?? Hardly. I'm a stringer, not a staff member, so I do NOT work in the offices of the Reader and do not deal with bosses/editors in any face to face manner. I sent in a story 2 yrs ago and it just took off from there. Just had my first cover story recently. Oooh, jeez, sorry...giving props to myself again, lol.

Since you seem to hell bent on putting me down for absolutely no reason at all....why don't YOU try reporting a story in the manner you seem to be sure that I'm not doing it in. After all, the Reader will accept stories from anyone....as long as they are well written.

Thanks for speaking up Jay. Trolls will be trolls, won't they?


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