A Salt Lake man was in critical condition Friday after he apparently set himself on fire following a dispute over unemployment benefits.
The 32-year-old man went to a Job Service Center, 1234 S. Main, about 12:15 p.m. and asked to speak with a hearing officer. "He spoke with him about unemployment benefits he felt were owed him from seven years ago," said Salt Lake Police Lt. Roy Wasden.The employee explained to the man that the case had been settled and he couldn't receive more benefits. He then apparently got upset, Wasden said. "He got out a gallon plastic container with flammable liquid . . . and poured it on the desk and on himself."
Employees wrestled the can away from the man, but then he dashed into another room, where he locked himself inside and lit himself on fire. Police and firefighters rescued the man and took him to the burn unit at University Hospital. A spokesman at the hospital said he was in critical condition Friday, suffering from smoke inhalation and second- and third-degree burns on his shoulders and face.
Fire officials said the Job Service office suffered minor damage.