A woman is reportedly in stable condition after she tried setting herself on fire inside of the congressional offices of U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (7th) on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a statement released by Davis’s office, at around 3:15 p.m., the woman entered the offices at 2746 W. Madison St. and started causing a scene. The congressman said he wasn’t at the office when the woman came in. He noted that he was coming from a meeting just down the street.
“My staff said she started picking things up out of the office and the receptionist asked her not to,” Davis said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
“Eventually, they told her if she kept on, they’d have to call the police and at that juncture she said, ‘I’m not going to jail,’ and start drinking hand sanitizer and then started taking the stuff and rubbing it on her clothes. Then, she lit her clothes on fire with a cigarette lighter.”
Davis said one of his staffers grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out before calling 911. The woman, Davis said, suffered burns and was taken to Stroger Hospital.
Davis said the woman was carrying no identification at the time of the incident and emergency responders could not immediately identify her.
“We have people like her who come to our office every day in need of mental health services and many are just a little bit away from that point,” Davis said.
“It just reinforces the tremendous need for mental health services in our community,” he added. “Those needs are going unmet. We hope and pray for this woman’s speedy and complete recovery and that her family finds out where she is.”