Phoenix police are investigating an incident where a man was severely burned on Thursday after two men filled plastic bags with gasoline and caused a car fire.
According to a news release from Phoenix police, they received a call around 8:14 a.m. stating a man was inside a car engulfed in flames near 35th Avenue and Ocotillo Road. Officers found a man with burns on his body and a car on fire.
Phoenix fire crews extinguished the flames and took the man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.
Officers found and spoke with the owner of the car, who had suffered minor burns, the police said. The man, who wasn't identified by police, told Phoenix police his car was stolen by an unknown man who burned him with an unknown object before taking his car.
According to the owner, a friend witnessed this and followed the stolen car in his vehicle. The owner followed him on foot and said he found his car on fire and his friend with severe burns.
As Phoenix police investigated, they found inconsistencies with the owner’s story, police said. Witnesses told detectives a third man was involved but didn’t match the description given by the car's owner.
After being confronted, the owner of the car confessed to making up the story with his friends, police said.
Police said detectives learned that the man who was severely burned had asked the owner and another man to get gas because one of the cars had run out of it. The two men went to a gas station and filled multiple grocery plastic bags with gasoline.
According to police, the men drove back to pick up their friend, then drove over to the car that didn't have gas. However, before they arrived, the bags of gas ignited inside the car for an unknown reason.
Phoenix police said the man with severe burns is in critical condition. The other two men didn’t suffer major injuries.
Detectives are still investigating the case and no arrests were made as of Friday afternoon, police said.
Reach breaking news reporter Ayana Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Man severely burned in Phoenix as plastic bags of gas cause car fire