Officers responded just after 12 p.m. to a call of arson at an apartment building located at 825 Columbus Ave., police said.
When they arrived, officers found a 32-year-old woman with injuries consistent with being burned, police said. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Police sources said the victim was attacked with a hammer before she was set ablaze.
Resident Bonnie Chapman told PIX11 News that the victim, while on fire, knocked on several apartment doors on the eighth floor of the building looking for help.
“She just kept saying, ‘Help, please, somebody help me, help me,'” Chapman said. “That’s all she kept saying.”
Chapman’s was the only door to open.
“I had to look out of my door and then I see her on fire,” she said. “I mean, she was on fire.”
The victim fell to the ground as the flames intensified.
“She was in a fetal position,” Chapman said.
Chapman said she then grabbed a sheet and extinguished the fire then called 911.
Neighbors said the victim and her suspected attacker both live at the Frederick Douglass Houses but in different buildings within the complex.
Police are looking for Larry McGloster, 26, in connection with the attack. He’s about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and was last seen wearing a white shirt and dark colored pants.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).