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Man Sets Himself on Fire, Flames Force Families to Flee

July 29, 1986

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) _ A man set himself on fire in his apartment after an argument with his girlfriend Tuesday, critically injuring himself and starting a blaze that forced five families to flee the building.

Kenneth Fogg was listed in critical condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland with third-degree burns over most of his body.

″He was one big ball of fire,″ said Paul Desmaris, who saw Fogg standing in front of the building. Desmaris smothered the flames, using a jacket and a blanket from a neighbor.

Fogg’s girlfriend, Jane Dresser, suffered burns on her arms while fleeing the building, and she was listed in fair condition at Southern Maine Medical Center.

She told police the house fire broke out when Fogg set himself on fire.

Ms. Dresser’s 14-year-old son James, corroborated that account, saying he witnessed the kitchen argument from a bedroom and saw Fogg douse himself in oil and set himself on fire.

The boy, who fled the apartment from his bedroom window, said the flames spread to the building when Fogg fell to the kitchen floor.

Police said the fire began shortly before 10:30 a.m. as Fogg, 52, and Ms. Dresser, 42, were arguing in the kitchen.

″He went outside and got a bucket of oil. He came back in and poured it over himself and lit a match and then ran outside,″ said Deputy Chief Benoit Martin of the Biddeford police.

The fire in the three-story building was brought under control quickly.

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