‘I saw my skin rolling off,’ victim testifies
Marie Siarot says she remembers what she thought was water being poured down her back while smoking a cigarette and holding a lighter.
When she realized it was gasoline, she said, she asked her boyfriend if he was going to set her on fire. She said her boyfriend did not say anything and grabbed her hand, and then the lighter went off.
"I remember a lot of yellow and the big swooshing noise," she said.
Siarot was in Circuit Court yesterday testifying in the criminal trial of Kim Massey.
Massey, 51, is charged with attempted murder and first-degree arson for allegedly setting Siarot on fire in their Honokai Hale home in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 2006. He remains free on $100,000 bail.
Siarot said she dropped to the floor and started rolling but kept burning. She said she yelled for a blanket and believes Massey put a blanket around her. But the fire did not go out right away.
"I was still cooking in the blanket," she said.
When she stopped burning, Siarot said, she tried to help Massey put out the fire, which had spread to their bed and the walls of the bedroom, but was choking on the smoke. She said that was when she looked to see what damage the fire had done to her body.
"I saw my skin rolling off," Siarot said, "It was coming off in rolls, the sides of my arms."
She said the fire burned off the long-sleeved shirt and nylon shorts she was wearing, leaving her in just her bra.
Siarot said she went downstairs, asked the tenant to call 911 for an ambulance and then went into the garage where she soaked a rag in water and put it on her shoulders. When the tenant asked her what happened, she told her Massey set her on fire.
As she was waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Siarot said Massey told her they needed to get their stories straight so they would have the same story.
"I said, 'There's only one story. There's only one story. You set me on fire,'" she said.
Massey told a fire investigator he tripped while carrying a can of gasoline to light a kerosene lamp.
The ambulance took Siarot to Straub Clinic & Hospital in critical condition with burns on her face, arms and back.
That evening, when it was time to go to sleep, she told the nurse she needed to talk to somebody and asked for a priest.
"'Cause in case I didn't wake up that they would know," she said.