ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was bad enough someone broke into his home, but then a victim said the suspect lit his home on fire Wednesday morning. The victim saw it all unfold, and he doesn’t understand why he was the target.
The victim told KRQE News 13 he had no idea who the man was when the suspect knocked on his door, and that he’s thankful he made it out alive.
As firefighters fought off the flames coming from the upper level of a northwest Albuquerque home, Ernesto Lean is wondering what just happened.
“If I stayed there, probably I’m dead,” said Lean.
Lean said 31-year-old Michael Tyner knocked on his door, demanding to come inside. Police said he threatened to kill the victim.
When Lean shut the door and locked it, the man went around to the back and somehow broke in.
At one point, Lean said he heard commotion upstairs and saw the man inside his house. That’s when he said he bolted out the front door, ran down the street, and called 911.
“All I know is run, run, run, run, run, and save your life. That’s it,” recalled Lean.
Flames quickly erupted. Police and fire crews swarmed the neighborhood, and warned residents to get out, while Tyner barricaded himself inside the house.
“Thank God my door was closed because that could have been my house,” said one neighbor. “It’s kind of random, kind of scary that that actually happened. I mean, nothing usually happens in our neighborhood that’s quite that intense.”
Tyner got out of the home, but AFD officials said he purposely put up a barrier to block firefighters from getting to the flames.
“They had to break through that barrier to get to the fire room itself, and one of our firefighters did partially fall through the floor. Thankfully, he was uninjured,” said Melissa Romero, spokesperson for the Albuquerque Fire Department.
The fire was put out before it reached any other homes. Tyner was taken into custody.
Fire crews are investigating the cause of the fire, but police do believe Tyner started it somehow. The victim said he’s waiting to see what kind of damage the home sustained.
Tyner hasn’t been charged yet in this case. Police are still trying to figure out why he caused all the problems.