4 Utah officers burned while helping suicidal man

One officer “who dealt directly with the individual on fire” is expected to be hospitalized for 10 days


By PoliceOne Staff

KAYSVILLE, Utah — Four Utah police officers were burned Thursday while attempting to help a suicidal man who set himself on fire at a gas station.

The man went into a Chevron gas station, which is also a McDonald’s restaurant, and filled up a gas can before walking into the station’s restroom and dousing himself with the gasoline, the Deseret News reports. Police said employees smelled gas and heard screaming as the man threatened to light himself on fire.

At least five Kaysville officers responded to the scene and attempted to restrain the man while also trying to grab a lighter from his hand. The man managed to use the lighter to start the fire, injuring four officers.

Three officers were treated and later released from a hospital. Police said the officer “who dealt directly with the individual on fire” remained at the hospital in fair condition and is expected to be hospitalized for 10 days.

"I saw some of the burns and they were substantial — to the back of one officer, the arm and face of one officer. There was some concern about burns in their mouth and throat or lungs that would block an airway," Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg said.

The man who lit himself on fire remains in the hospital in the burn unit in critical condition with “severe” burns.

Oberg said he’s proud of the officers for saving a suicidal man and other people inside the gas station “in what could have been literally an explosive situation.”

"But it's heartbreaking to see these great men and women go through this, and see their burns and call their families and say that their spouse is injured,” Oberg said.

 

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