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KAYSVILLE — 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.
The officers responded to the scene at about 2 p.m., according to an emailed statement from Kaysville police. An adult man who was suicidal went into the gas station, doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire, police said.
The officers jumped in to try to save the man and were burned in the process. They tried to restrain the man and take a lighter that was in his hand, but he lit the gasoline with the lighter, injuring himself and the four officers, police said.
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. Just before 5:30 p.m., Utah State Fraternal Order of Police officials said on Facebook that the officers involved were in stable condition.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m., Kaysville City officials said via Twitter that all officers involved were released from the hospital except the officer who dealt directly with the individual on fire. "That officer is expected to make a full recovery, but will be hospitalized for about 10 days," officials said. The man who doused himself in gas was also taken to University Hospital.
University of Utah Health spokesman Noman Khan said as of Thursday evening, the officer was in fair condition and the man who doused himself in gas was in critical condition.
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.
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.
Oberg 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.
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.
Emergency personnel from the Kaysville Fire Department, Farmington Fire Department, Layton Fire Department, Davis County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Highway Patrol, Syracuse Police Department, Farmington Police Department, Clinton Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene, Kaysville Police officials said.
Contributing: Nicole Vowell, KSL TV
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The following are warning signs of immediate risk. Call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing the following:
Additional Warning Signs:
Courtesy of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
- Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
- Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386