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Man sustains burns after setting self on fire in police cell

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PHOTO: Meelis Meilbaum / Virumaa Teataja

A detained man was hospitalized with injuries after setting himself on fire in the police detention house of Rakvere late on Friday night.

According to tentative information, the 46-year-old man set fire to himself at 11:05 p.m. on Friday, as a result of which a mattress of the detention facility also caught fire later.

The police personnel who arrived on the scene first managed to get the fire under control themselves. The 46-year-old detainee was taken to hospital with burns.

Two members of the police force who turned to the hospital later continued to perform their duties after receiving first aid.

The other seven detainees held in the detention house at the time were transferred to the police detention house of neighboring regional center Johvi. By Saturday all cells of the Rakvere detention house had been ventilated and the detained individuals were brought back to Rakvere.

Joel Alla, head of the service for prevention and proceedings at the Rakvere police station, said that ensuring the safety of detainees was paramount in managing such events. "Rapid action by the chief of field service and the employee of the detention house definitely saved the man's life, they got the blaze under control and prevented the worst," Alla said.

An in-house inquiry will be conducted to establish all details of the case.

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