Too many overdue notices and nagging calls from a collection agency pushed a 62-year-old Newark man over the edge, provoking a bizarre reaction. The customer, whom Bloomfield Rent-A-Center employees described as a nice man, owed money for furniture rentals. Yesterday, he entered the store to speak with the manager, but the manager was not available. In front of customers and employees, the man lit himself on fire in protest. From The Star Ledger:
“He basically pulled out a bottle of lighter fluid, poured it all over his body, pulled out a cigarette lighter and lit himself on fire,” Bloomfield Police Capt. Chris Goul said.
Employees rushed to get water to extinguish the blaze. The 62-year-old man, Emilio Saladriagas, was taken to the burn unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center for treatment.
Saladriagas was listed in critical condition late Tuesday, said hospital spokesman Sally Malech.