Manager: ‘Employees heard screaming, smelled gas’ as man lit himself on fire

Apr 5, 2018, 10:52 PM | Updated: 11:37 pm

KAYSVILLE, Utah — Four Kaysville Police officers sustained burns after responding to a call at a Top Stop gas station on Thursday. The officers were trying to save a man who set himself on fire inside the store.

The four officers were called about 2 p.m. to the Chevron station near 200 N. 300 West. According to the Kaysville City Police Chief, Sol Oberg, an man, who was suicidal, walked into the gas station, doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire.

The officers jumped in to try to save the man and were burned while attempting to wrestle a lighter out of the man’s hands, police said.

Three officers, and the mentally ill man, were taken by medical helicopter to the University of Utah Burn Center. The fourth officer was taken by ground to Davis County hospital, officials said.

One of the officers had substantial burns to the back, and another had burns on the arm and face, Oberg 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.

“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.”

By 7:30 p.m., all but one officer had been released from the hospital. One Kaysville officer remains at the U of U Burn Center and is expected to stay for treatment for at least 10 days, officials said. The suicidal man remains in critical condition.

Related: 4 officers burned after suicidal man threatens to burn himself alive

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.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or is exhibiting warning signs, KSL encourages you to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Crisis Hotlines

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

Online resources

NAMI Utah:
Utah Chapter-American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

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Manager: ‘Employees heard screaming, smelled gas’ as man lit himself on fire