Man sets himself ablaze over use of ‘Christmas’

Dec. 23, 2006: A 31-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after setting himself ablaze in an apparent protest over a school district’s decision to call winter and spring break, Christmas and Easter break.

The protester, reportedly draped in a flag, ignited a decorated Christmas tree, an American flag and a revolutionary flag replica that read “Don’t Tread on Me” before pouring a can of fuel on himself in front of the Kern County Court Building in Bakersfield, Calif.

The man survived, thanks to the quick action of a sheriff’s deputy and several court employees.

“It’s the most awful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” said Deputy Lance Ferguson who finally smothered the flames with a sweater he found on the ground.

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