Horror at White House as man sets himself on fire

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 85% 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."

It has been speculated he may have been wearing a protective suit (Photo: Courtesy)

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."

Krisjan Berzins said his daughter began recording after spotting the burning man.

“According to my daughter…she just saw a person that was on fire running across the White House lawn,” Berzins tweeted.

Shortly after a large cloud discharges from what appears to be a fire extinguisher (Photo: Courtesy)

“Police and rescue have responded. They’re closing all surrounding streets right now.”

Mr Berzins said that she and the other passersby in the area were stunned by the sight of the man.

“Everybody was in shock,” Berzins said. “I was in shock.”

The man's condition is not known at this stage.

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.

Mr Berzins said that she and the other passersby in the area were stunned by the sight of the man (Photo: Courtesy)

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

It is sometimes referred to as President's Park South and features various monuments as well as hosting official events.

The White House has not commented officially on the incident yet.

Earlier today Robert Mueller delivered his first verbal statement on his report into alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia in the run up to the 2016 presidential election.

 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next