Suspected Arsonist Accidentally Sets Himself on Fire While Attempting to Torch Ex-Girlfriend’s House

In a bizarre and shocking incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a man’s attempt to set his ex-girlfriend’s house on fire backfired catastrophically when he accidentally ignited himself. The suspect, identified as

In a bizarre and shocking incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a man’s attempt to set his ex-girlfriend’s house on fire backfired catastrophically when he accidentally ignited himself. The suspect, identified as 46-year-old Artemio Sanchez-Ortega, remains at large following the incident that took place on May 24. 

The Albuquerque Police Department has launched a manhunt to locate Sanchez-Ortega, whose actions were captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera.

The footage, which has since gone viral, depicts Sanchez-Ortega calmly walking down a residential street, carrying a red gasoline can. The video shows him approaching his ex-girlfriend’s home with a determined gait, only to be engulfed in flames moments later. 

As Sanchez-Ortega begins to douse the yard with gasoline, the plan quickly goes awry, and he is suddenly seen stumbling out of the yard, engulfed in flames. Despite the severity of his self-inflicted injuries, Sanchez-Ortega manages to escape to his truck and flee the scene.

Neighbor Daniel Provine, who captured the incident on his security camera, expressed shock and bewilderment at the suspect’s actions. “The absurdity of seeing someone with such bitterness to light the fire and the ineptitude to get caught in flames in the process was absolutely absurd and regrettable. I felt terrible for the neighbors and wanted to do whatever I could to help,” Provine told KOAT.

Provine ensured the video was turned over to authorities for investigation. The surveillance footage clearly shows Sanchez-Ortega’s failed arson attempt and his frantic escape. Fortunately, Sanchez-Ortega’s ex-girlfriend and her children, who were inside the house at the time of the incident, were unharmed.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by local news station KOAT, Sanchez-Ortega’s ex-girlfriend reported that he had called her multiple times before the attempted arson. She mentioned that she could tell he had been drinking during one of these calls. 

This information has added a layer of context to the investigation, indicating that Sanchez-Ortega’s actions may have been influenced by alcohol.

The Albuquerque Fire Rescue responded promptly to the scene, where they found two vehicles ablaze and flames threatening to spread to a third vehicle and the house itself. The quick response of the firefighters prevented further damage to the property and ensured the safety of the residents.

Despite the clear evidence and severity of the crime, Sanchez-Ortega managed to evade capture and is still on the run. He now faces charges of arson causing damages exceeding $20,000, a second-degree felony. The Albuquerque Police Department has urged anyone with information on Sanchez-Ortega’s whereabouts to come forward.

The community’s reaction to the incident has been one of disbelief and dark humor. The bizarre nature of Sanchez-Ortega’s self-inflicted injuries has not overshadowed the serious nature of his crime. Residents like Provine have expressed a desire for justice and relief that the situation was not more devastating.

This incident has also sparked discussions about the broader implications of domestic violence and the importance of community vigilance. While the attempted arson had an almost farcical element due to the suspect’s misfortune, the underlying issue of domestic threats remains a grave concern.

Domestic violence advocates have used this incident to highlight the risks that victims face and the need for robust protective measures. The fact that Sanchez-Ortega’s ex-girlfriend and her children were at home during his arson attempt underscores the potential for such situations to escalate into life-threatening events.

The Albuquerque Police Department continues its investigation, working to piece together Sanchez-Ortega’s actions leading up to and following the attempted arson. The search for Sanchez-Ortega is ongoing, with law enforcement utilizing all available resources to apprehend him.

In the meantime, the local community remains vigilant, with residents sharing information and supporting each other in the wake of the unsettling event. The neighborhood’s close-knit nature has been a source of strength as individuals like Provine step up to assist in the investigation and ensure their community’s safety.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability of domestic violence and the importance of swift action by authorities and the community alike. As the search for Sanchez-Ortega continues, the hope is that he will be apprehended quickly and face justice for his actions, providing some measure of closure and safety for his ex-girlfriend and her family.

In conclusion, the attempted arson by Artemio Sanchez-Ortega has left a significant mark on the Albuquerque community. The bizarre and dangerous nature of the event highlights both the potential for violence in domestic situations and the critical role of community involvement in ensuring safety. As authorities continue their search, the incident stands as a sobering example of the complexities and dangers inherent in domestic disputes.

Authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of Sanchez-Ortega immediately. They have also stressed the importance of community support and cooperation in bringing the suspect to justice and preventing future incidents of domestic violence. The Albuquerque Police Department is working tirelessly to ensure that Sanchez-Ortega is captured and held accountable for his actions.