4 Utah officers burned helping man who lit himself on fire
Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com
Published at | Updated at
KAYSVILLE, Utah — Four officers had burn injuries after they tried to help a man who lit himself on fire at a Kaysville gas station, officials confirmed Thursday afternoon.
Four Kaysville police officers obtained burn injuries during the incident, which took place at a Chevron station near 200 N. 300 West, according to Davis County sheriff’s detective Ty Berger.
KSL.com reports an adult man who was suicidal went into the gas station, doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire, according to Kaysville police.
The officers jumped in to try to save the man and were burned in the process.
All four officers and the man who doused himself in gas were taken to area hospitals, with some taken to the University of Utah burn center via a medical helicopter, and some taken to a Davis County hospital in an ambulance, officials said.
By 4:30 p.m., one of the officers had been released from the hospital, city officials said on Facebook.
One of the officers had substantial burns to the back, and another had burns on the arm and face, Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg said. When he arrived on the scene, the officers were all alert but were in a lot of pain, he said.
He said the situation was “heartbreaking.”
“It’s very emotional for me to hear and see,” Oberg said. “At the same time, I feel a lot of pride in the fact that these officers, without hesitation, responded to an emergency to save not only this suicidal person but a lot of other people in what could have been literally an explosive situation.”
He said there were some customers and store employees inside the Chevron station at the time. There were some obvious signs of fire damage inside the store, Oberg added.
Both directions of 200 North were briefly closed at the 300 West intersection due to the ongoing situation, Utah Department of Transportation officials said. The road was reopened shortly after 3 p.m., according to the KSL Traffic Center.
Officials did not provide any other information about the extent of the officer’s injuries, and police said there was not a shooting during the incident.
Video footage from KSL’s Chopper 5 showed a University of Utah medical helicopter taking off from the scene about 2:40 p.m. At least three ambulances were on the scene, along with a heavy police presence.
Waylon DeRobaum, the manager of the Chevron station, said the situation took place in a bathroom at the gas station.
“Employees heard screaming and smelled gas,” DeRobaum said.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.