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MADISON, Wis. – Police in Madison are investigating a possible hate crime after a biracial woman was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire while at a stop light early Wednesday morning.

Police said the 18-year-old was driving on West Gorham Street when she stopped for a red light. She had her driver’s side window down and heard someone yell a racial epithet at her, authorities said. When she turned to see who had yelled, she saw four white men, one of whom sprayed her face and neck with liquid before throwing a flaming lighter at her.

The woman was able to pat out the ensuing fire and drove home, where her mother encouraged her to seek medical treatment, officials said.

Medical staff believe the 18-year-old was sprayed with lighter fluid, according to police. She was treated for burns and will need additional care in the future, authorities said.

Police continue to investigate Thursday. Anyone with information on the case can contact the Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or submit a tip online at

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Police in Madison, Wisconsin, are investigating after a woman stopped at a red light reported she was doused with a liquid and set on fire in a possible hate crime on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.