Police identify man who died after lighting himself on fire at Des Moines library

  • Source: Des Moines Register - Metered Site
  • Published: 09/18/2019 07:57 AM

A 36-year-old man who set himself on fire Tuesday at the downtown Des Moines library has died, police said. Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek said David Franklin Smith died at 6:20 p.m. after he was airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals Burn Unit in Iowa City. The preliminary investigation indicates that the man intentionally lit the fire, Parizek said. Smith was in Des Moines for two weeks prior to the incident, and an address in Anchorage, Alaska, was the last known address for Smith, Parizek said in a news release. At 1:59 p.m. Tuesday, police officers and Des Moines Fire Department firefighters responded to the Des Moines Central Library at 1000 Grand Ave. after hearing reports a man was on fire. Police said the man poured a flammable liquid onto himself and then ignited a fire. The man was in an atrium at the library when he started the fire, Parizek said Tuesday. Library workers helped put the fire out. No other people were injured.


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