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Friend Says Woman Who Was Set On Fire ‘Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree’

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Candy Eberly talks with CBS4's Evrod Cassimy (credit: CBS)

Candy Eberly talks with CBS4’s Evrod Cassimy (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are still searching for two men who broke into a home, sprayed several people with a flammable liquid, and then lit them on fire.

“She lit up like a Christmas tree. The whole house was lit up,” Candy Eberly said of her friend, Delena Thornton, who was set on fire.

Eberly was inside a Denver home with friends when two men barged in. What happened next was out of a horror movie.

“He walked in, sprayed my friend in the face, sprayed me down, and the kids,” Eberly said. “All of a sudden you hear her screaming and you hear a big old whoosh, like the noise … that was her being lit on fire. Like she was severely burned from head to toe.”

Thornton is recovering from severe burns at University of Colorado Hospital.

“There’s a lot of activity that went on in that home for as long as I’ve lived there that I’ve seen. So I’m afraid that it could be more than a robbery,” Thornton’s mother told CBS4.

“We don’t know right now. We don’t know who they are, who these people are, why they did it, what they’re motive was,” Sonny Jackson with Denver police said. “So this is a mystery to us, but we’re very concerned that they did this, period.”

Thursday night police were on scene trying to figure out who could have done it. Aside from Thornton, three other people were burned less severely.

“My uncle got hurt, my neighbor got hurt and my husband,” said Chantel Ramirez, who lives in the home.

Now that the nightmare is somewhat over, the reality has set it for Eberly of how she narrowly escaped.

“He flicked the lighter three times and the lighter didn’t go off,” Eberly said. “(It’s) very emotional for me because that could have been me and the children as well in the hospital.”

Thornton was badly burned on her face and back.

Police only have a vague description of the two suspects.

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