Friday, August 14, 2009

Celia E. Casals is Woman on Fire at Mall of the Americas

Celia E. Casals is the woman who set herself on fire at the Mall of the Americas in Miami-Dade, Florida on Thursday. See video below.

Celia E. Casals - Mall of the Americas Celia Casales
Ms. Casals is 42 years old and a resident of North Miami, Florida. According to her husband, she "had issues burning inside," and a history of being under psychiatric care. Casals doused herself with a fire accelerate, set herself ablaze and walked through the Miami-Dade mall in silence, according to witnesses. Her daughter reportedly works at the Mall of Americas. Witnesses said they saw her earlier with a dozen or two red and white roses. This report says she left the roses at the Savage Boutique, where she applied the accelerate. The video below confirms that her daughter works at this boutique. She and her husband also have a 4 year old daughter. Shoppers screamed as the flames shot higher.
"She was completely on fire,'' Morales said. "She wasn't screaming or saying a word. She wasn't running. She was just walking.'' Morales called 911. Moments later, an unidentified person tried to extinguish the fire by pushing the woman to the ground. When the woman didn't fall, Santiago Castro, who manages a travel agency in the mall, grabbed a fire extinguisher, pointed it at the woman and pressed the handle. It discharged, but it didn't douse theflames. "She looked like a human torch, on fire from head to toe,'' Castro said. Torres, the other man who tried to help, followed with a fire extinguisher and was eventually able to put out the fire. The woman then opened an exit door and walked out to the parking lot, witnesses said.
Casals continued to walk without saying a word, not screaming and in shock, according to witnesses.
Her hair and clothing had been burned off. Morales said the woman's skin was charred and bubbling.

"She wasn't making eye contact with anyone,'' he said. "It was like she was in her own world.''

Casals managed to walk to the parking lot with her clothes burned off. Fire Rescue Lt. Arnold Piedrahita said she was conscious and talking to them. One witness said it was "movie style stuntman stuff." As always, there are heroes willing to put their own lives at risk when someone decides to take their life. At least three persons in the mall trying to assist her were treated for minor injuries. Authorities believe she tried to kill herself by "self-Immolation, known as suicide by fire. Celia Casals has third degree burns over 75 percent of her body. She is in "very critical condition," and her injuries are life threatening.
Celia E. Casals - Woman on Fire at Mall of the Americas

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton