(Photo by Campbell River RCMP)

A 20-year-old man has been hospitalized with very serious, but non life threatening burn wounds after police found he was deliberately set on fire.

In a statement released Wednesday, Campbell River RCMP say they were called to investigate a serious incident underneath the bridges over the Campbell River at around 7:30 a.m. on September 22.

Fishermen in the area called emergency services after they found a man one minute away from the river, in the parking lot of The Brick, suffering from severe burns on his back. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

An investigation by RCMP Major Crimes Unit, General Duty Units, Police Dog Services and Forensic Identification Services deduced that the man was deliberately set on fire while he was sleeping on the island underneath the highway bridge sometime in the early hours of September 22.

“Setting someone on fire is truly an egregious offence. Nobody, no matter what their situation in life deserves to be treated in such a horrendous manner,” said Cst. Maury Tyre.

The victim managed to remove some of his burning clothes and make his way over to The Brick’s parking lot for help. It was later found that some of his belongings were also stolen from the area.

Police are now in the early stages of their investigation into this incident.

“We at the Campbell River RCMP intend to use our resources to locate the individual/individuals responsible for this incident and hold them legally accountable,” added Tyre.

Officers are looking to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have information about it.

Those with information can contact Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221 and reference File 2020-12211.