A man set himself on fire in front of the White House

A man set himself on fire in front of the White House
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

A man is undergoing treatment at a hospital for his injuries he sustained after lighting himself on fire in front of the White House, the Secret Service has confirmed.


The man, still unidentified, reportedly set fire to his jacket while on Pennsylvania Avenue, along the White House fence. Officials said he was in an "electronic wheelchair-type scooter."

The Secret Service continued in a statement: "Uniformed Division Officers immediately responded, extinguished the fire and rendered first aid."

It added: "The male subject has been transported to a local hospital with what appears to be non-life threatening injuries."

"Someone apparently set himself on fire in front of the White House just now," reported the New York Times's Nicolas Kristof, who was there at the time of the incident. "I was coming out of the West Wing, and the [Secret] Service isn’t letting anyone out onto Pennsylvania Ave. They say there are also suspicious packages."

Though Kristof said there were suspicious packages at the scene, the Secret Service did not mention any in its statement.

Kristof continued:

"Secret service spokeswoman tells me a man set his jacket on fire in front of the White House. He is being treated for injuries. No threat to the President," said CNN's Jeremy Diamond. "The fire set off a good amount of smoke that was visible from the White House North Lawn. Officers quickly scrambled to clear pedestrians from Pennsylvania Ave, running & shouting at people to clear the area."

CNN's Abby Phillip confirmed:

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