Local News

Officials: Man Attempts Suicide by Burning Down House

Posted January 20, 2008 10:48 a.m. EST
Updated January 21, 2008 7:07 p.m. EST

— A house fire sparked by an apparent explosion left a man burned Sunday morning, Durham officials said.

Neighbors called in the fire after hearing what they thought was an explosion at 1020 Ninth St. around 9:15 a.m.

“When we got here the house was burning from one end to the other and two adjacent homes had fire damage,” said Andy Sannipoli, battalion chief with the Durham Fire Department.

Homeowner Anthony Khamala was transported to Duke University Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He suffered burns to his face, hands and legs. He was listed Monday night in critical condition at the Jaycees Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

The house was a total loss, officials said. Neighbors said the walls of the house looked like they were blown out.

The fire was an attempted suicide, officials said. Khamala apparently poured gasoline around the house and then set it on fire. He also released his pets before starting the blaze, officials said.

Two other homes nearby suffered damage.