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Man lights himself on fire outside White House; Secret Service confirms

A United States Secret Service agent stands guard between the upgraded security fence and metal barricade (foreground) that block off the north lawn of the White House from tourists on Pennsylvania Avenue NW on December 13, 2015. (Matt Popovich/Flickr)
April 12, 2019

The Secret Service arrested a man who set his jacket on fire outside the White House on Friday afternoon.

“A male subject operating an electronic wheelchair-type scooter lit his outer jacket on fire while sitting along Pennsylvania Ave. outside the North Fence Line. Uniformed Division Officers immediately responded, extinguished the fire and rendered first aid,” the Secret Service tweeted.


The Secret Service added that the person in question was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

EWTN White House Correspondent Mark Irons tweeted a video of four law enforcement agents carrying a man away from the scene. “⁦@SecretService⁩ just apprehended man who tried to set himself on fire outside ⁦@WhiteHouse⁩ agent tells us,” Irons said.

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The man was quickly apprehended and extinguished by a large group of officers.

The Secret Service previously tweeted, “ALERT: Secret Service personnel are responding to a police/medical incident on Pennsylvania Ave. along the @WhiteHouse North Fence Line.”

“UPDATE: Pennsylvania Ave. is closed to pedestrian traffic, 17th street between H and G is closed to vehicular traffic,” the Secret Service said in another tweet.

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White House staff and reporters were on lockdown on the premises.

Some reported that a significant amount of smoke was emanating from the man’s jacket.

The President was not reported to be under threat from the incident.