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Lancaster man in critical condition after being set on fire in love triangle dispute

Updated: Friday, October 4 2013, 12:34 PM CDT
Reported by: Donna Kirker Morgan

LANCASTER -- A Lancaster County man is fighting for his life tonight after being set on fire by a man who once was his friend.

The police markings remain on North Decatur Street where the confrontation occurred Sunday in Marietta. Police marked where they say 57-year-old Marlin Dyer was doused with a flammable liquid.

The say that 35-year-old Jeremy Hostetter then pulled out a lighter and lit the Marietta man on fire.

"I saw this glow. It was like fire," said Susanne Young, who saw a lot of the volatile confrontation from her porch.

"I can't believe one human being would do that to another human,” Young said.

Police credit people who were passing by the incident for getting Dyer to drop and roll to put out the flames. Yet he suffered serious burns over more than half of his body.

They blame a disagreement on comments made about a woman for the actions of Hostetter. A friend of Dyer confirmed that for CBS 21. The same friend and other neighbors say the two men were often seen together, working together at the victim’s son’s auto shop. 

Jeremy Hostetter’s neighbor says he knew something was bothering him yesterday. He says all of this is out of character for the 35-year-old.

Rich Coble told us that Jeremy  was getting phone calls Sunday and was getting upset as he fixed some steps at Coble’s home. When he finished the work he told Coble “I’m going to have to take care of this.”

Susquehanna Regional Police say that may have been when Hostetter went to Dyer’s home and threatened to burn it down. For some reason, he left without committing that crime and was walking home when Dyer caught up with him on North Decatur Street at around 7 p.m.

Court records say Hostetter and Dyer had a scuffle which ended when Hostetter threw a flammable liquid on Dyer and then set him on fire.

Hostetter continued walking, arriving at his home and telling neighbor Rich Coble that he just threw gas on someone. He waited for police to arrive and gave himself over to police without any fight.

A friend of Dyer says that his medical condition continued to deteriorate throughout Monday at the Bayview Burn Unit in Baltimore.

His friends say that he was there when Hostetter arrived at Dyer’s home to supposedly burn it down. Hostetter reportedly showed them a container that he said contained gasoline, soap and Vaseline – reportedly a very dangerous mix.

Police have taken samples of the soil where the incident happened to make a final determination of what the flammable material was that was reportedly thrown on Dyer.

Lancaster man in critical condition after being set on fire in love triangle dispute

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