Florida woman sets roommate on fire after argument about spaghetti

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Melissa Sellers, seen in this 2008 booking photo, has previous arrests. (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

Melissa Sellers, seen in this 2008 booking photo, has previous arrests. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

CLEARWATER, Florida (PIX11) — A 33-year-old woman was arrested after setting her roommate on fire early Wednesday morning.

Melissa Dawn Sellers doused Carlos Ortiz Jr., 42, with nail polish remover during a heated argument that began with Ortiz throwing away the woman’s spaghetti and meatballs, Bay News 9 reported.

Sellers poured the nail polish remover on Ortiz’s upper body and then set him ablaze with what may have been a lighter or burnt cigarette. The two had been drinking before the fire started, officials said.

The man sustained burns to his face, chest and shoulders. He was rushed to Tampa General Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

Ines Causevic, who witnessed the argument, told Bay News 9 that Sellers tried to put out the fire by throwing water on Ortiz and tearing his shirt off.

“When he got up, his face was like melting off,” Causevic told the TV station.

Sellers left the scene before police arrived, but returned from her stepfather’s home later that morning. She was taken to Pinellas County Jail and charged with aggravated battery.

The woman moved in with Ortiz after she lost her job at Wal-Mart, the New York Daily News reported.

Sellers was previously arrested in 2008 for battery. She was released on her own recognizance.


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