HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) – A man has died, according to authorities, after he apparently set himself on fire at Highland Park Wendy’s.

City spokesperson Marli Blackmon says the man entered the bathroom at the fast food restaurant, on Woodward Ave. near the Davison freeway, and came out engulfed in flames.

Employees called 911, Highland Park Fire Chief Kevin Coney said, and did their best to try to put the fire out.

“‘Help!’ That was all he could say at the time,” Coney told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “He was calling for help and they went back there to try to assist him. But being fully engulfed in flames…there’s nothing too much nobody can do but try to put water on him.”

Firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze, Coney said, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s unclear at this time how the fire was set; if it was intentional or an accident. No one else was hurt.

Coney was asked how the employees who witnessed the incident are handling it.

“Anytime you see something like that it is traumatic. They’re doing their best. They’ve grief counselors in there right now assisting them,” Coney said.

The man was not immediately identified, although people at the scene said they’d heard he was the husband or boyfriend of someone who worked at the Wendy’s. That was not confirmed by authorities.

An investigation is ongoing.


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