Woman threw pot of water on burning man before he died

Published: Jun. 7, 2015 at 4:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2015 at 10:43 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Police are looking for tips in hopes of arresting the person responsible for setting a man on fire and leaving him for dead in the Russell neighborhood.

LMPD and Louisville Fire responded to the 2400 block of Elliott Avenue at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday following reports of a person down.

When first responders arrived, they immediately pronounced the man dead.

Police were not able to confirm the man's identity or age, only that the victim was a black man.

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WAVE 3 News spoke exclusively to a woman who discovered the man still on fire and called police.

"He was just lying there, just on fire," Brenda Harris said, "He wasn't moving or nothing."

Harris said she was on her way home from work when she saw the man on fire.

"It was a body lying on the sidewalk on fire," she said. "(Dispatchers) asked me if he was dead or alive. I said he's dead because ain't nobody just gonna lie their on fire."

Harris says she did everything she could to try to save the man's life.

"I put (the fire) out," she said, "I threw a pot of water on him and he just went out."

Detectives worked into the morning, going door to door interviewing neighbors and looking for answers.

Police were unable to immediately determine the man's cause of death. It's possible something other than the fire may have killed him.

"We'll know more after an autopsy," LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said.

Harris said she remembers the victim as a man who tried to do some good on Elliott Avenue, a street filled with abandoned and boarded-up homes.

"I knew him because he cleaned up people's yards and stuff," she said. "He was a good guy."

Anyone with information into this homicide is asked to call the LMPD tip line. The number is 502-574-LMPD.

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