Man sets himself on fire near White House, Secret Service says

"Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers responded in seconds, extinguished the fire and began to administer first aid," the agency said in a statement.
A man set himself on fire near the White House on Wednesday, the Secret Service said.
A man set himself on fire near the White House on Wednesday, the Secret Service said.Crystal Anne / Via Twitter

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By Janelle Griffith

A man set himself on fire near the White House on Wednesday, the Secret Service said.

The incident took place about 12:20 p.m. on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Avenue, the agency said.

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"Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers responded in seconds, extinguished the fire and began to administer first aid," the agency said in a statement.

The Ellipse is a park located south of the White House fence and north of Constitution Avenue and the National Mall.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was taken to a local hospital.

Alina Berzins, 17, was sightseeing with her family when she saw a man running and covered in flames.

"We were just looking at the White House to take pictures and he just came out of nowhere," she told NBC News in a phone interview, adding that she was amazed by how quickly he was apprehended.

Last month, a man set himself on fire at the White House. In that incident, the man was operating an electronic wheelchair-type scooter while sitting on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the North Fence Line when he lit his outer jacket on fire. His injuries were not life-threatening.

Rima Abdelkader contributed.