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Arson arrest made after man reportedly set woman on fire in Fort Myers

Posted at 1:04 PM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 13:04:12-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- An arrest has been made in an arson case in which a woman was set on fire and critically injured.

39-year-old Terry Palmer is facing charges of arson in the first degree and arson causing great bodily harm.

According to Fort Myers Police, on Tuesday afternoon, Palmer and Thelma Shelby were reportedly arguing at a home on Evans Avenue, when Palmer left but then returned with a jug of a flammable liquid.

The witness says Palmer was trying to set the house on fire when his own shirt caught fire.  In an effort to whisk away the flames, Palmer tossed the jug and Shelby's clothes caught fire.

Palmer fled the scene and was later arrested and taken to jail after being treated for his burns at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Shelby suffered burns on several parts of her body and was taken to Lee Memorial and then the Tampa Hospital Burn Unit in critical condition.