DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV/CNN) – Police said a 36-year-old man is dead after setting himself on fire at a public library in Des Moines.
They said David Franklin Smith died in a hospital Tuesday evening.
Police say their initial investigation indicates he doused himself with a flammable fluid and lit himself on fire at the Des Moines Public Library on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the library, “At about 2 p.m., a man entered the library’s gateway area and set himself on fire.”
Officials said other people at the library put the flames out 45 seconds later.
“Several of our employees went to his immediate aid and one of them had the foresight to grab the fire extinguisher,” said Sue Woody, the library director. “She ran over and we had a patron, someone that was in the library, grab the fire extinguisher from her and started using it.”
Police said Smith had been in Des Moines for about two weeks, but his last known address was in Anchorage, Alaska.