Washington – A man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in the U.S. capital has died of his injuries, which were so severe that authorities will have to use DNA and dental records to identify him, District of Columbia police said Saturday.
The man died Friday night at a Washington hospital where he had been airlifted, a police spokesman, said.
The man poured the contents of a red canister of gasoline on himself in the center portion of the mall Friday afternoon. He then set himself on fire, with passing joggers taking off their shirts to help put out the flames. Police had said he was conscious and breathing at the scene, but he was airlifted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center with life-threatening injuries.
Police are investigating the man’s possible motives.
Small fires cause damage in California
Los Angeles – Fierce winds stoked several small fires across Southern California on Saturday, forcing 260 residents and hospital patients to evacuate at a military base, causing a key freeway junction to shut down and damaging cars and homes.
A fire at the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton forced 230 residents to evacuate from a housing unit near Lake O’Neil and caused minor damage to four buildings, base officials said. Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton was not threatened by the fire, but a power outage prompted officials to evacuate about 30 patients to other hospitals in the area and stop accepting new patients.
The blaze charred about 1,000 acres, sending smoke across northern San Diego County.
In northern Los Angeles County, traffic in the Newhall Pass came to a standstill when a 15-acre fire broke out on a hillside north of the junction of Interstate 5 and State Route 14. The freeways were closed in all directions for about 90 minutes.
Wind gusts of 65 mph were reported near the area of the fire.
To the west in Ventura County, a semi truck went off U.S. 101 in Oxnard and crashed into a car dealership parking lot, causing a fire that spread to several vehicles in the lot, officials said.
The truck driver said wind was a factor in the crash, Oxnard police Cmdr. Martin Myer said. He said strong winds also fanned a fire Friday night that destroyed four buildings in an Oxnard complex and displaced 78 people.