Man with hammer allegedly attacks woman and burns her home

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A man is charged after he allegedly attacked a woman and set her Joliet house on fire. (WLS)

A 32-year-old woman was in a medically-induced coma Sunday night after a man allegedly attacked her with a hammer and then set her Joliet house on fire.

Good Samaritan Ryan Flannery was driving past the victim's home Saturday afternoon on Infantry Lane when he saw her in trouble.

"The scariest part was when he was walking towards me, because I think that he thought she was still inside and how did she escape, and he wanted to drag her back and finish off the job," Flannery said.

"I asked, 'What happened? What happened?' She started screaming, 'The house is on fire. He tried to kill me,'" Flannery said. "She was like, 'He hit me with a hammer. He tried to light me on fire.'"

Flannery went to his trunk and grabbed a welding hammer, and told the man to "stay back."



The woman, Amanda Zelko, remained hospitalized Sunday night and the next 24 to 48 hours are critical, but her prognosis is good.

Zelko identified her attacker as Timothy Gregory, a relative of her fiancée.

He was arrested at the scene and faces arson and battery charges.

It was not clear what prompted the attack.

Zelko's mother, Linda Zelko, said she is thankful that Flannery was there to help her daughter.

"There is kindness in the world," Linda Zelko said. "People are kind and caring and stopped and took the time to help my daughter in her time of need."

Flannery said, "I hope she recovers and I hope he rots in jail. Nobody should ever go through that."

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newsbuilding fireattackwoman injuredarsonhouse fireu.s. & worldJolietIllinois
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