The woman, named in media reports as Ulla N., is thought to have been set on fire by her boyfriend of eight years in their home in the West Berlin district of Charlottenburg at 2am on Sunday morning after an argument escalated, the BZ newspaper reported.
The woman's downstairs neighbour, 65-year-old Dusko Momic, told the newspaper how he heard loud screaming from the flat above, where Ulla N. lived. “I went into the corridor to see what was going on,” he said.
It was there that he saw the 45-year-old. “Her whole body was burning like a torch,” she said. “The flames were two metres above her body.”
Momic tried to cover the burning woman in a blanket to extinguish the flames. But it was too late. “She was already completely black. It was horrible,” the man said. She died in the stairwell.
Another neighbour rang the fire brigade as the woman's flat was also on fire and poisonous smoke had begun to fill the building. The building was evacuated and firefighters spent an hour putting out the blaze.
At around 5am, Ulla N.'s partner rang the police, telling them: “I've killed my girlfriend”. It appears, the BZ said, that the Cuban-born 51-year-old and Ulla N. were arguing before he covered her in lighter fluid and set her alight.
The IT-specialist managed to slip out of the building, unnoticed by neighbours. Police arrested him immediately after the phone call and on Monday he was still in custody.
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