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Charges: Man doused ex in gas as she slept, then set her alight

Vanessa Danielson died in the fire at a Minneapolis duplex.
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The woman who died in a fire at a Minneapolis duplex was set alight by her estranged boyfriend, who doused in her gasoline as she slept, prosecutors say.

The horror unfolded at the property on the 2900 block of Taylor Ave. NE Thursday morning, with 36-year-old Vanessa Danielson dying from the burn injuries she suffered in the blaze.

Charged with her murder is Wyndale Fayson, 32, an abusive partner who WCCO reports had been ordered not to have contact with Danielson following a felony domestic assault charge in July.

According to the criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, Fayson had been at Danielson's apartment a few hours before the fire, when he turned up and accused her of cheating on him.

He grew angry, grabbed her cellphone and smashed it, before telling her he would kill her by setting the place on fire.

Police were called by Danielson's downstairs neighbor when he heard her screaming "he's going to kill me, he's got a gun."

By the time police arrived Fayson had gone and wasn't found during a search of the area. Police, however, were called back at 6:40 a.m., along with the fire department.

There they found Danielson, on fire, lying on the street outside her home, screaming with severe burns all over her body.

'He lit me on fire'

The downstairs neighbor, who told police he had seen a "history of violence" between Danielson and Fayson, said he heard yelling and could smell smoke coming from upstairs.

He went outside and saw Danielson on fire from head to toe, and watched as she fell down the exterior steps of the building. He threw a blanket on her and rolled her in the grass.

She told paramedics en route to hospital that she woke up on fire in bed, and earlier told the neighbor, "he lit me on fire," and when asked who, added "Wyndale."

Danielson died in the hospital.

A search of her home turned up a melted 2 gallon gas can, with investigators finding that the hottest part of the fire was in Danielson's bedroom, with traces of gasoline found on her bed.

Fayson was found a few blocks away in serious pain from severe burns. He was heard saying he shouldn't have gone back to the house.

He has been charged with second degree murder. His first court appearance hasn't been scheduled yet as he's still in the hospital with serious injuries.

If you know anyone that is affected by domestic violence, you can find more information on services available here, via the Minnesota DPS.

You can also call the Day One Crisis Hotline on 1-866-223-1111.

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