Oct. 12--SAN ANTONIO -- An early morning fight between two middle-aged men who were supposedly friends, according to the San Antonio police, resulted in one man being set on fire, two structures being burned, a car crash, and both men being sent to the hospital for treatment.
Initial calls about the incident reached the San Antonio fire and police departments at about 6:30 a.m. According to police, the two men were fighting in a rural area in the 1900 block of Mauermann Road, on the South Side, when one man doused the other in gasoline and set him on fire. Names were not released for either man.
The victim's wife initially transported the burned man to a nearby Valero, and he was later taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition for burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body, according to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Authorities say the friend set fire to the victim's RV before fleeing the scene. The fire later spread to a nearby structure, according to SAFD.
Firefighters were working to put out the flames when they realized it was part of an attack and declared over their scanner that "this is a crime scene."
Once the fire was contained, the on scene SAFD commander pulled back all firefighters except for two to ensure arson investigators would be able to work in an undisturbed crime scene.
"Any time it's a crime scene they try to do minimal overhaul to preserve the scene," said Christian Bove, a spokesman for SAFD.
Bove said eight units responded to the Mauermann Road location and four units responded to the victim's location to assist in initial treatment.
After setting fire to the RV, the man attempting to flee crashed his truck into a "ditch or quarry," McManus said.
Police responded to that scene and found that he had suffered injuries as well. Scanner traffic reported that he might have had a broken arm, and McManus confirmed that he also had burn injuries.
He was flown by AirLife to SAMMC for treatment, according to police.
Officers were investigating the incident throughout the morning and are still trying to uncover a motive for the attack.
McManus emphasized at the scene that the hospitalized suspect would face charges, which could range from aggravated assault to attempted murder, but no charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon.
Several workers waited around the entrance to location of the fire, which belongs to David Freisenhahn Trucking and was described as a "sand pit company" by one of the men, who declined to be named to avoid getting in trouble with his employer.
The worker said both men involved in the fight were employees of the company but did not provide the men's names. As of early Friday afternoon he hadn't been notified when they would be allowed to go into work.
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