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August 20, 2009

"Human Torch" Dies After Mall Blaze | NBC Miami

Miami Herald

The woman who set herself on fire in a crowded Miami mall last week has died.

Cecilia E. Casals died yesterday at Jackson Memorial Hospital, five days after setting herself ablaze at the Mall of the Americas, according to the Miami Herald.

The 42-year-old had third-degree burns throughout most of her body after she poured a flammable substance on her body, set herself on fire and walked through the mall last Thursday.

Casals made it out of the mall and into the parking lot, according to witnesses. Several concerned people who saw the amazing and disturbing sight were burned while trying to put out the flames.

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Shoppers React to Woman on Fire

"It looked like a big fireball," eyewitness John Torres said. "I know she lost all her clothing."

Casals was eventually extinguished. Police believe Casals was trying to kill herself through self-immolation.

According to her husband, Casals had mental issues and had recently spent extensive time seeking psychiatric help. But court records also show that Casals had legal woes as well and was accused of attempting to kill her ex-boyfriend in 2004 and was still on probation on drug trafficking charges from 2008. The attempted murder charge was dropped.

"Human Torch" Dies After Mall Blaze | NBC Miami