Clerk set on fire inside Reading deli

May 1, 2013 2:09:56 PM PDT
Police are searching for a suspect after a worker at a corner store was doused with gasoline and set on fire in Reading.

Investigators say 35-year-old Joel Fontanez was behind the counter at the Citi Sub & Grocery Store on Cotton Street in Reading, Pa. when he was attacked around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters were dispatched for a report of a fire and found the victim in a gutter across the street.

Deputy Fire Chief Tom Kemery says firefighters put out the blaze and an ambulance took Fontanez to the hospital where he is listed in critical, but stable condition.

Fontanez suffered second and third degree burns over 40% of his body and was placed in a medically-induced coma as he recovers.

Investigators don't know what provoked the attack. They're looking for witnesses and the suspect.

The store's owner says he's never had any trouble and didn't know of any threats against the store or its employees.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Reading Police Department or the Berks County District Attorney.


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