Loading articles...

Man lights himself on fire at Vancouver McDonald's, IIO called in

Last Updated Mar 16, 2018 at 10:05 am PDT

(Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 staff photo)

'He started pouring gasoline all over... and he lit a cigarette,' says witness to frightening incident

IIO called in after man apparently splashed flammable liquid around a McDonald's and then lit a cigarette

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Customers cleared out in a hurry and BC’s police watchdog has now been called in after a disturbing incident at a 24-hour McDonald’s in East Vancouver last night.

Witnesses say a distraught man splashed flammable liquid all over the place at the restaurant on Commercial Drive near East 10th Avenue and then lit a cigarette.

Carla is one of the people who called 9-1-1 after the incident around 9 p.m. She says when it began, the man was yelling and threatening to light himself on fire.

“There was a guy sitting outside the McDonald’s and I noticed that he had a gas can in his hands. He actually got up and ran at a woman and he said ‘I am going to burn you,”‘ she tells us.

Carla says the situation then escalated.

“He started pouring the gasoline from the can all over the McDonald’s — just splashing it all over the place. At that point, people started just rushing out of the McDonald’s. And then he rushed to the back of the McDonald’s. I could see him kind of squatting at the back of the McDonald’s and he lit a cigarette.”

Police say they tried to talk him out of it, but had to use ARWEN rounds and Vancouver Fire crews used a high-pressure water hose on the man.

The man, who is in his 30s, is in the hospital with serious burns.

There is some damage to the McDonald’s.

The Independent Investigations Office is looking into the case, which is standard procedure when someone is hurt in a police incident.