Man burned on 90 percent of body after setting self on fire

A man was burned over 90 percent of his body this afternoon after intentionally setting himself on fire and running in erratic circles around the grass of the Talent Skate Park facility, police said.

Emergency officials responded to the scene after a 9-1-1 call came in at 1:53 p.m. A Talent city official first saw the fire and called, but didn't realize it was a person.

The unidentified man, who Talent police said is in his early 30s, had walked into the restroom on the skate park grounds carrying a 5-gallon gas can and had run out 10 minutes later engulfed in flames.

Talent police say the man ran for a few seconds, fell down, got back up and resumed running. Two passersby eventually tackled and subdued the man while a passing motorist ran to a nearby coffee shop and grabbed a fire extinguisher.

The man had been put out by the time Jackson County Fire District No. 5 crews arrived on scene. He was badly burned.

Police don't believe the man's intent was to burn down the bathroom. They walked in to find the gas canister on fire, but no other liquid accelerant had been splashed on the walls or floor.

"We're pretty confident it was not an accident. We believe it was intentional," said Talent police chief Mike Moran.

The man was conscious and talking while being loaded up for transport to Rogue Valley Medical Center. Moran said the man made some comments further leading police to believe he had set himself ablaze intentionally, but would not comment on what the man said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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