D.C. Man On Fire In Critical Condition After Self-Immolation

Nathan Francis

A D.C. man who set himself on fire on Friday is in critical condition with extensive burns, authorities said.

The man was near the National Mall when he reportedly doused himself in gasoline and set his body on fire. Law enforcement officials and paramedics rushed to the scene, but the man suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition.

Office Hugh Carew, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said police are still investigating whether the D.C. man intentionally set himself on fire. Witnesses indicate that the fire was intentional.

"I saw a man sitting in flames," Adam Stifel, a nearby jogger, told CNN. "He had already doused himself in gasoline, I believe."

Stifel said he joined a small group of people who tried to put the fire out.

"There were five gentlemen hitting him with their T-shirts," Nicole Didyk, an environmental engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration, told Reuters.

Didyk said the man was alert after the flames were put out and even thanked those who came to his aid, but she added that his condition appeared dire.

"When he fell over his arms were all white. He was burned really bad," Didyk said.

Witnesses said there was a red gasoline canister nearby, which was visible in some photos of the scene.

The scene unfolded within a mile of where a high-speed chase took place on Thursday, one that ended with a reportedly delusional woman being shot and killed by Capitol police.

Police have not said if the D.C. man on fire was part of any organized protest group.