4 Kaysville officers burned trying to save man who set himself on fire

Four Kaysville Police officers were injured Thursday afternoon while trying to save a suicidal man who had set himself on fire. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

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KAYSVILLE, Utah, April 5, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Four Kaysville Police officers were injured Thursday when their attempt to calm a gas-soaked, suicidal man turned into a frantic race to put him out.

Burned in the attempt, two officers were transported by medical helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital, along with the victim. A third officer was rushed there by ground ambulance, and one more officer was taken to North Davis Hospital to be checked out.

Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg said all officers are expected to survive. The suicidal man was in critical condition.

“It’s heartbreaking for me as chief to see these brave men and women be injured like this, to make phone calls to their families,” Oberg said.

“But at the same time, there’s a lot of pride is seeing what they’ve done, that there was no hesitation in going in and trying to save this individual as well as the other occupants of the store in what literally could have been an explosive situation.

“It’s a mixed bag of emotions. A lot of pride and a lot of heartbreak.”

The man, whose identity was not immediately known, was inside the restroom of the Chevron station near 200 South and 300 West. Police responded at about 2 p.m., but attempts to talk him out of suicide or wrestle the lighter away from him were unsuccessful.

Officers turned their focus to putting out the fire. One was seriously burned on his back, and was taken to University Hospital’s burn unit, Oberg said. The two other officers taken to the U were treated in the regular hospital rather than the burn unit.

“There were concerns from officers about burns in their mouths, their lungs — something that would block airways,” Oberg said at the scene.

Three of the injured officers were men and one was a woman, he said. Names are not being released pending notification of families.

There are a lot of unanswered questions, Oberg said when asked for more details.

“We’re still trying to piece all that together. We’re still in the very preliminary stages of our investigation right now. Our first focus and obligation is to protect the lives and get medical aid to those that were injured.”

Drivers are being asked to avoid the scene since roads maybe closed for several hours during the investigation.


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