Man sets himself on fire outside White House, Secret Service says

Videos show man engulfed in flames near an area known as President's Park South

Chris Riotta
New York
Wednesday 29 May 2019 19:12
Man sets himself on fire outside White House, Secret Service says

A man has been treated by the US Secret Service after lighting himself on fire outside of the White House.

Video posted to social media platforms from the scene showed the man engulfed in flames as cars drove past.

The Secret Service confirmed the incident in a tweet, noting additional aid was provided by officials with the National Park Service and US Park Police.

The incident reportedly occurred after 12:00 pm local time. The man was immediately provided first aid before being sent to hospital.

“I can confirm that we’ve transported one patient with burns from the Ellipse and we’re now on the scene assisting law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the Washington Fire Department told CNBC.

The fire occurred near the Ellipse park on 15th street and Constitution Avenue at an area popularly known as President's Park South. The space is used an official event location and features various prominent monuments.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Secret Service officials said the agency "responded in seconds" to the incident after the "male individual lit himself on fire."

A helicopter and multiple Fire Department vehicles were reportedly on the scene within minutes as the man was hit with fire extinguishers.

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A 17-year-old witness told CNBC the man began "running, and then we saw him covered in flames."

“Everybody was in shock,” Alina Berzins told the outlet. “I was in shock.”

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