A man set himself on fire Wednesday near the White House with shocking footage showing him engulfed in flames, the Secret Service said.
Shocking footage of the incident was posted showing the unidentified individual walking calmly across a lawn south of the White House as he is fully engulfed in flames.
Several seconds later, staff run towards him with a fire extinguisher to quell the flames, with the incident happening less than a mile from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
A man set himself on fire Wednesday near the White House with shocking footage showing him engulfed in flames, the Secret Service said. Shockingly, the unidentified individual managed to stand upright before security ran towards him to extinguish the flames
He later drops to the ground as he doused with a fire extinguisher to quell the flames
The man’s motive is not yet known but it is believed he was transported to a nearby hospital
He managed to stand upright before officials got to him, amid reports that he was wearing a protective suit which would have shielded him from catastrophic burns and even death.
It is currently not known what condition he is in but it is believed that he was transported to a nearby hospital.
More than 70 officers swarmed to the area from multiple agencies. Several tourists and visitors were in the vicinity, but there were no other injuries.
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.’
National Park Service police and the U.S. Secret Service officers also assisted at the scene to try and establish what happened in Washington D.C.
The Secret Service had no comment other than referring to the agency’s tweet about the incident when contacted by CNBC.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said he could not immediately comment.
In a tweet the U.S. Secret Service said: ‘At approximately 12:20 p.m. a man lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Ave., Secret Service personnel are on scene assisting and in rendering first aid.’
An individual is seen engulfed in flames just south of the White House on Tuesday afternoon
Visitors and tourists were seen around the White House, unaware that a man set himself alight near a security cabin which allows authorized staff to park in a car pack near the White House lawn
The Ellipse is a 52-acre park located south of the White House fence and north of Constitution Avenue and the National Mall.
The incident comes just hours after Special Counsel Robert Mueller told the country in a dramatic statement that it was ‘not an option’ for his office to have charged President Trump with an obstruction crime and that it would be ‘inappropriate’ for him to speak further about his probe of Russian election interference.
In a public statement he said would likely be his only one, Mueller restated parts of his 448-report – including the controversial decision not to charge Trump with a crime.
The Secret Service confirmed the incident happened and said they are investigating
The man was given first aid at the scene before being transported to hospital
The president has repeatedly cited the report – and his own attorney general’s decision not to charge him – as proof that there was ‘no obstruction.’
But Mueller, in his sudden statement delivered with little public notification, said his decision rested on Justice Department policy – not on the guilt or innocence of President Trump.
That did not stop Trump from tweeting immediately after Mueller’s remarks that the case against him was ‘closed.’
‘Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you,’ Trump wrote.
There have been several security incidents in recent years in the vicinity of the White House, due in part to its location in the middle of D.C., with a number of streets approaching it.
Visitors and tourists were seen around the White House, unaware that a man set himself alight near a security cabin which allows authorized staff to park in a car park on Pennsylvania Ave
President’s Park Police and U.S. Secret Service officers also assisted at the scene to try and establish what happened in Washington D.C.
On April 12, when a man in a wheelchair-type electric scooter lit his jacket on fire outside the White House fence.
That man was hospitalized with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, the U.S. Secret Service said.
Crews are due to begin work on installing a larger fence around the White House as part of security improvements beginning this summer.
The existing fence will be replaced with a structure that will be about 13 feet tall, an increase of about five feet.
It is due include an 18-inch, above ground stone base at the bottom, a 10-foot, 7-inch metal fence and a one-foot-tall ‘anti-climb feature’ at the top.
The changes are intended to keep out intruders after the arrests of several people who have tried to scale the fence in recent years.
The Secret Service and the National Park Service, which maintains the White House grounds, received final approval in 2017 from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission to move forward with building what officials called a ‘tougher, taller and stronger’ fence.
The White House, a National Historic Landmark, sits on about 18 acres in downtown Washington, while the history of its fence dates to the 1800s.