Two would-be arsonists set themselves ablaze as they tried to burn down a business in Bakersfield, California.
Surveillance cameras outside the business captured the two suspects walking to the front of the building holding gasoline canisters. The two men then began pouring gasoline all over the front of the building before one of the arsonists ignited the gas and inadvertently set both men and the business ablaze.
The surveillance showed the suspects screaming and fleeing the scene as their clothes caught fire. The first suspect was seen scrambling away from the scene with the flames on his right leg. The second suspect tried to run, but slipped and fell on the sidewalk before the right arm of his hoodie started burning.
The screams of the second man could be heard as he fled the scene. Another camera angle showed the fire spread to the back of his shirt.
Both men were wearing dark clothes with face coverings to conceal their identities. Firefighters told ABC 23 that they were able to put out the fire within 10 minutes of their arrival at the scene. Firefighters added that the damage was limited to the building’s garage.
The local business involved, Servicio de Immigration, is a tax preparation company. The owner, Max Solorzano, expressed his disappointment at Bakersfield’s officials not doing enough to keep the city safe from such vandals. Solorzano added that city authorities must do more to keep the community safe.
“We are a small business and we help many people, so there will be people who will not be able to receive our services due to inactivity,” Solorzano said in an interview. “That is what most saddens me. We help many farmworker families with their immigration processes, we help people do taxes. We ask our clients to have patience with us, we will get through this.”
While police say they are still investigating the case, it is not clear if the suspects have been apprehended. The motive for the attack remains unclear.