Man Saved After Setting Himself on Fire in Detroit Hospital

The man suffered second and third degree burns but is conscious and recovering.

A Detroit man is recovering after police say he entered a hospital and lit himself on fire in a possible domestic incident Wednesday.

A hospital staff member who used a fire extinguisher is being credited with saving the man’s life.

The incident began when the 60-year-old man walked through Beaumont Hospital’s Dearborn parking lot and into the pharmacy Wednesday afternoon with a two liter soda bottle, reports

Police say the man was acting suspiciously and reeked of gasoline. Police later determined the soda bottle was filled with gasoline.

Hospital security was called as staff members followed the man to the elevator. The man reportedly claimed he was a vendor, but the staff members refused to let him close the elevator doors.

As hospital security officers arrived, the man set himself on fire.

“The situation was extremely scary,” Beaumont Dearborn President Kelly Smith says. “There was smoke. There was fire extinguisher exhaust. There were burned items, so it was a scary scene.”

As officers and staff worked to put the flames out and contain the situation, an employee grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

“When the fire alarms went off all the doors shut,” said hospital visitor Wanda Mulhern, who was inside when the incident occurred. “They took most the people on the first floor and shot them up to the second, third and fourth floors.”

The man, who has not been identified, appeared to be on his way to his wife’s hospital room when staff members intervened. Police speculated that it could have been a domestic violence incident.

The man was initially treated for second and third degree burns in Beaumont’s emergency center before being transferred to another facility. Police say 30 percent of his body is burned, but the man is conscious and speaking with investigators.

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