Man lights himself on fire outside White House

A man lit himself on fire near the White House Friday afternoon, prompting U.S. Secret Service agents to intervene. The man has been transported to a local hospital for what appear to be non-life-threatening injuries, Secret Service said in a statement. 

The identity of the man has not yet been disclosed. The incident took place around 3 p.m., and video footage showed Secret Service agents carrying the man to another location near the White House. Secret Service and D.C. Metropolitan Police are searching two bags the man had in proximity to him. 

“USSS Uniformed Division Officers responded in seconds, extinguished the fire and began to administer first aid,” Secret Service said in a statement. “Pedestrian traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue was closed following the incident. This is an ongoing investigation.”

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It’s unclear if the man had any intention of making a political statement, or what his mental state was at the time. 

Secret Service apprehended the man on the 15th Street side of Lafayette Park, directly across from the White House, according to one CBS News employee who witnessed part of the incident. Secret Service agents physically picked up the man and carried him to the other side of the park. 

Police and rescue personnel remove a man on stretcher fron Lafayette Park outside the White House in Washington
A U.S. Secret Service officer stands guard outside the White House on April 12, 2019. Carlos Barria / REUTERS

The turn of events placed the White House on lockdown Friday afternoon, meaning staffers and journalists cannot enter or leave the grounds. The incident also closed part of Pennsylvania Avenue to pedestrian traffic, and 17th Street Northwest to vehicular traffic. 

This is a developing story.

Arden Farhi and Andres Triay contributed to this report. 

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