Horrifying moment man sets fire to himself outside White House

This is the horrifying moment a man set fire to himself on the lawn of the White House.

Emergency services rushed to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers as the man continued to walk around the lawn.

He is said to be in a critical condition in hospital and suffered 85 percent burns to his body.

Images of the man on fire on the White House lawn ()

There were also unconfirmed claims that the man was wearing a protective suit.

The man appeared to be wearing a shirt with the word "USA" emblazoned on the front.

While the shocking event took place on Wednesday, US president Donald Trump was working in the Oval Office, said officials.

One eyewitness said they saw the man starting to run and then saw him covered in flames.

"Everybody was in shock. I was in shock," Alina Berzins told CNBC.

She said several dozen police officers suddenly appeared on the scene and were joined by a helicopter and multiple fire engines.

The US Secret Service tweeted to confirm the incident took place in the early afternoon.

The security services said they responded to the incident within seconds, and that the man set fire to himself.

The fire occurred near the Ellipse park at an area popularly known as President's Park South.

The space is used an official event location and contains several monuments.

"I can confirm that we've transported one patient with burns from the Ellipse and we're now on the scene assisting law enforcement," the emergency services said in a statement.

It was later announced that the unnamed man was taken to hospital and was in a life-threatening condition.

It is not yet clear why the man set himself on fire.

In 2017, a 45-year-old man set himself ablaze in front of Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Ave, in the US capital.

While no motive was found, a construction worker told a reporter that he heard the man uttering Trump's name before he was engulfed in flames.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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