Witnesses watched in disbelief as a man lit himself on fire on a busy downtown Calgary street Thursday morning.

Ashis Bans, 19, looked out his downtown office building and was surprised to see a person on fire surrounded by emergency crews.

“I just looked out the window and saw this guy lying on the snow on fire without a shirt on. He had emergency crews surrounding him,” he told Metro.


“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” he added.

EMS spokesperson Stuart Brideaux said one of the initial 911 calls was actually a paramedic who was passing the scene with another patient.

“I’m sure there were a lot of calls though because it was right in the view of the public,” Brideaux said.

Brideaux said the man suffered burns to 40 per cent of his body, mostly his back.

“They were very severe burns,” he said, adding the risk now is infection.

Officials believe the man doused himself in flammable liquid and then set himself on fire, but are still investigating the motive.

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