DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It was a scene so heinous, a Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter thought the victim had died.
Danyeil Townzen had been doused in gasoline and lit on fire.
Nineteen months later, she got to personally thank the firefighter, Pete Hartnett, who saved her life.
In May 2018, Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to an aggravated assault at an apartment.
A bystander met them at the gate and said a man dumped lighter fluid on a woman and was threatening her with a torch.
“So I called and asked for a police for an ETA and they had not been assigned and I told the driver, we gotta go around and see what we have,” said Harnett, recalling that day. “(I) pulled around the corner and there was a woman… couldn’t tell it was a woman. It was a human being on fire.”
Hartnett jumped off the fire truck before it stopped and wrapped Townzen in his coat.
He then chased the suspect to his vehicle and held on to the car door as the man took off.
That man was sentenced to life in prison in September.
Townzen was in a coma for five months and hospitalized for a year.