Man critically hurt after setting himself on fire inside Publix in Plant City: Police

A man is in critical condition at the hospital after Plant City police say he set himself on fire inside a Publix store.

Investigators responded to the store off James L. Redman Parkway shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday after a caller told a dispatcher a person was on fire.

Police tell FOX 13 the 30-year-old man used some sort of accelerant to ignite the fire.

Investigators say several people rushed over to put the fire out before paramedics arrived and rushed the man to the hospital.

Latonya Byrd and her 16-year-old daughter, Promise Byrd, were in the deli line waiting for their subs when chaos erupted.

"We hear a loud commotion towards the front of the store and I turn around and look and there's amber orange flames all in the front of the store," Byrd said. "Immediately we ran. She’s yelling and, you know, we need to get to the back exit and they escorted us to the back door. We ran around and we crossed the highway to the other plaza until we got a ride to come get us to go to the car."

"It was orange flames, big orange flames. There was a lot of flames. These weren’t just small flames, these were really, big flames and I got so scared I had to run," Promise Byrd said.

Byrd says she’s relieved she and everyone else got out safely and says she’s praying for the man and his family.

"When I saw, like, what happened later, I was sad because you know I don’t know what level of sadness could bring somebody to do that," Byrd said.

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