"It does appear that a man sustained self-inflicted burns," Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump said. The incident happened at the mall, the country capital's grassy esplanade, some six blocks away from the Capitol Hill, where on Friday, a woman motoroist led the authorities on almost two-mile chase, sparking a brief lockdown of the high-security complex.

The District of Columbia Fire Department spokesman Tim Wilson said the man has life-threatening injuries. "No indication on our end of what caused the fire, the only thing we can pretty much comment on is we were dispatched to the call and responded to it. So how it started, don't know," Wilson said.

The identity of the man was not immediately known. The police are yet to reveal his name. "I saw a man sitting in flames. He had already doused himself in gasoline, I believe," Adam Stifel, an eyewitness said. Five or six people used their shirts to pat out the fire, he said.


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