Kaysville, UT – Four Kaysville police officers were burned on Thursday afternoon, while they rushed to save a suicidal man who lit himself on fire at a gas station.
“Employees heard screaming and smelled gas,” Chevron manager Waylon DeRobaum told KSL.
Police immediately rushed to the unnamed man’s aid, and attempted to take a lighter he was holding in his hand.
The man was able to ignite the gasoline, burning himself and four officers who were on him.
“Four officers were…taken by ambulance to local hospitals with varying degrees of injuries,” Kaysville Police Department (KPD) statement read. “The male was taken by helicopter to the hospital with severe burn injuries.”
He was listed in critical condition, University of Utah Health spokesman Norman Khan told KSL.
Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg said that when he arrived at the scene, the injured officers were alert, but in a substantial amount of pain. He said one officer sustained burns to the arm and face, while another had substantial burns to the back, KSL reported.
All but one of the officers had been released from the hospital as of late Thursday night, according to a Utah State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) statement. The condition of the remaining officer was “looking promising,” the FOP added.
“That officer is expected to make a full recovery, but will be hospitalized for about 10 days,” officials told KSL. He was listed in fair condition, Khan said, according to KSL.
Although the store sustained some damages during the incident, no customers or employees were injured.
Chief Oberg praised KPD officers who responded to what he called a “heartbreaking” encounter.
“It’s very emotional for me to hear and see,” the chief told KSL. “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.”