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Man set on fire in Seattle speaks out about attack

File photo (Tony Webster, Flickr)
LISTEN: Burn victim Kasey Busch tells his story

It’s been nearly two months since Kasey Busch was set on fire. He shouldn’t have survived.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me, so it’s not going to make any sense to you either,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “The guy is out of his mind, really.”

On Nov. 7 he was working at a shop in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. He got into a confrontation with a woman and her boyfriend. It ended with flames and Busch being rushed to the hospital.

The woman’s ex-boyfriend owned the shop Busch worked at. One day, she showed up.

“I got into a verbal argument … she walked in with some of my custom tools she had stolen about a year before that,” Busch said. “… her and her boyfriend, Chris, the guy that lit me on fire, showed up to get some stuff from the shop that she had stored there. And she came walking in and she had one of my wrenches in her hand that I had customized. It’s a dive tool. It’s something you only really need to use out in an oil field. She came in with it in her hand, bold as day … I saw her with it, called her on it. Got into a verbal argument about it and I told her to keep the thing. It’s not worth fighting about. Keep the karma. You are writing your own story.”

The tool had some sentimental value to Busch, however. It was given to him by a supervisor about 10 years ago.

Busch noticed the woman’s current boyfriend outside the shop. So he walked up to him and offered the guy $50 if he could get his tool back from her.

“That was all that was said,” Busch said. “I came back from dropping some stuff off in SoDo, came up to the shop. He came up to the car. As he was walking up to the car (and) he had a drink in his hand. I didn’t think anything of it, and he threw the whole thing on me.”

The cup was filled with gasoline.

“He basically he threw a match or a flare at me,” Busch said. “Next thing I know, I’m completely engulfed in flames.”

“I was a crispy critter by the time it was all said and done,” he said.

Busch has spent the last couple of months getting skin graphs in the hospital and going through many surgeries. He was told that 95 percent of people who experience the massive burns he suffered do not survive. Today, he is viewing things a little bit differently. He notes that he flat lined on the way to hospital and had to be resuscitated. The experience left an impression, but he didn’t want to go too deep into details.

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“It renewed my faith in stuff …” he said. “I’m not too worried about dying anymore; I know there’s something on the other side. Let’s put it that way.”

The man Busch says set him on fire has not been found by police and is still at large. Busch believes he is still in Seattle.

“I don’t think they are looking for him. I just think they are waiting to catch him when they run across him someday,” he said. “I haven’t had a detective who’s on the case return a phone call to me … other than the victim’s advocate, I haven’t really spoken with anyone with the police. They never even took a statement from me.”

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