Man sets self on fire at metro Detroit hospital

Posted at 12:13 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 16:14:15-05

A man is in the hospital after he entered Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn and set himself on fire, police say. 

“The situation was extremely scary,” said the hospital’s President Kelly Smith. “I was personally around the scene and I can tell you there were many people that weren’t entirely sure what was going on. However, within a split second people went into action doing that we do, carrying for folks.”

According to hospital staff and police, a number of workers noticed the man acting strangely when he walked inside of the hospital.

Smith also noted that some people noticed a strong odor coming from the man.

That's when he set himself on fire. 

“By the the time the guest had made his way to the center of the hospital at the elevator bank, many team members were on the spot helping.”

Security guards helped stop the man, and a number of people grabbed fire extinguishers to put the fire out.

The man, who is only being referred to as a 60-year-old man who may be from Dearborn, suffered severe injuries. He was initially treated at the Dearborn Emergency Center inside the same hospital where the incident took place, he was later transported to a burn center for treatment.

“When the fire alarms went off all the doors shut,” said Wanda Mulhern, one of the people inside the hospital when police started rushing inside. “They took most the people on the first floor and shot them up to the second, third and fourth floors.”

Mulhern said she initially thought she was witnessing a terrorist attack unfolding, but police have been quick to say that this is likely a domestic incident.

Morris Cotton, the security system deputy director, said he was proud of his employees that jumped into action and made sure everyone was safe.

“Security was there and we took action, not only with dealing with this situation but with comforting the staff,” said Cotton.

Police are still investigating the incident. It’s not known what type of material the man used to start the fire.

Both hospital staff and police have declined to comment on where the man may have been attempting to go.