A Molotov cocktail thrown into a private home has injured a toddler and his grandfather in central Russia's Ulyanovsk region, the local Investigative Committee reported Thursday.
The incident occurred on the evening of Jan. 27 in the region’s Leninsky district, the report said.
A bottle containing flammable liquid was thrown through the window of the family home, landing on the toddler's bed and injuring the 2-year-old boy. He has been hospitalized with serious burns to his face and forearms. His grandfather, who rescued the boy, also suffered burns.
“We received a message last night, reporting that an apartment building was set on fire. A person threw a bottle with a flammable fluid as a result of which the fire began,” Ulyanovsk police said in a statement quoted by the RT news agency.
The family has blamed the incident on a debt collection agency to which the family owed money.
“A few days before the new year collectors threw through our window a brick, to which a note was attached. The note said that collectors will burn our house down unless we pay them 40,000 ($522) rubles within the next five days,” the family said, tabloid website Lifenews reported.
The regional Investigative Committee has launched an investigation into the incident.
“There are reports that a worker at a collection agency might have initiated the fire. It is possible that by carrying out the attack he was trying to get back the debt,” said an Investigative Committee spokesperson.