Woman set on fire in Sydney's CBD

Emergency sevices treat the woman in the apartment building's lobby.

Emergency sevices treat the woman in the apartment building's lobby. Photo: Matt Black Productions

A Sydney man is being questioned by police after he allegedly doused his partner with flammable liquid and set her alight in Haymarket on Friday night.

The 34-year-old victim is in a serious but stable condition at Concord Hospital after sustaining burns to her head and upper body.

The incident is believed to have occurred in the lobby of the Regis Towers apartment building, where the victim is understood to have been living as a subtenant in an apartment in the complex.

The woman sustained burns to her head and upper body.

The woman sustained burns to her head and upper body. Photo: Matt Black Productions

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The woman is an Australian resident of Thai background. Consulate staff are currently attempting to contact the victim's relatives overseas.

Shortly after the incident, emergency service crews found a 28-year-old man in Ultimo with burns to his arms.

Police have praised the quick actions of people who helped the woman at the scene.

Police have praised the quick actions of people who helped the woman at the scene. Photo: Matt Black Productions

He was arrested and taken to hospital.

Regis Towers building manager Alex Pappas raised safety concerns about over-crowding in the apartment complex months ago and claimed Friday's tragedy was related to tensions which arise when people live in cramped conditions.

He said the victim was found screaming outside the elevator shaft, with her face covered in flames. A building resident smothered the fire using a towel, before security and emergency services rushed to the scene.

The victim was sharing an apartment with a ''large number'' of other tenants, according to Mr Pappas. Consulate staff are currently attempting to contact the victim's relatives overseas.

Mr Pappas said about 30 per cent of the complex's 650 apartments housed more than the maximum number of tenants. Fairfax Media understands that some two-bedroom apartments are housing up to 12 people.

The Regis Towers owners corporation cracked down on over-crowding and other activities such as drug dealing and prostitution last year by introducing a strict policy on electronic access cards, which left some tenants locked out of their apartments.

However, Mr Pappas said tenants were simply lodging complaints with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) which would then issue orders to reactivate the access cards.

''NCAT says our policy is in line with legislation but individual tenants can go to NCAT and complain they have been unfairly locked out of their premises and NCAT can order us to let them back in,'' he said.

''It's forced a situation where we have to be lax in letting people back into the building when we know they are living in dangerously over-crowded apartments.''

Inspector Dave Richards said the attack was likely related to a domestic incident.

"The information we've received at the moment suggests that it is a domestic-related incident. We are conducting further enquiries to determine that," he told Macquarie Radio.

He praised people who helped the woman at the scene.

"They've done a very good job in assisting the victim to stem the injuries."

Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: www1.police.nsw.gov.au.