Man sets himself on fire near White House

By Mirror | Thursday, May 30th 2019 at 09:24
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A man who set himself on fire in front of the White House is in a life-threatening condition in hospital, it has been reported.

Police officers quickly surrounded and extinguished the man, who is said to have suffered severe burns to his body.

The man, who is yet to be identified, set himself on fire at roughly 12.20pm (local time), according to the Secret Service.

It has been speculated he may have been wearing a protective suit.

The Secret Service tweeted: "At approximately 12.20pm. a man lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Ave., Secret Service personnel are on scene assisting (National Park Service) and (US Park Police) in rendering first aid."

Footage posted on social media shows police rushing to the scene.

Shortly after a large cloud discharges from what appears to be a fire extinguisher.

Secret Service spokesman Jeffrey Adams said in a statement that the agency’s Uniformed Division Officers “responded in seconds” after the “male individual lit himself on fire.”

The man may have been wearing a protective suit, website TMZ has speculated, because he was able to walk calmly while on fire. They also reported the man was arrested.

A spokesman for the Washington Fire Department told CNBC: “I can confirm that we’ve transported one patient with burns from the Ellipse and we’re now on the scene assisting law enforcement."

It was the second such incident since April 12, when a man in a wheelchair-type electric scooter lit his jacket on fire outside the White House fence. 

The Ellipse is a 52-acre park located south of the White House fence and north of Constitution Avenue and the National Mall. 

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