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Covington officer speaks out about Kroger fire

12:14 AM, Feb 20, 2014   |    comments
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COVINGTON, Ga. -- In all of his years on the force, Officer Chip Shirah has never worked a call like this.

Covington Police said they received a call at about 4:15 regarding a person acting strangely, pulling things off of the shelves and yelling at the store.

Once officers arrived, they saw that the man was dowsing himself with rubbing alcohol and that he held a lighter. The man threatened to set himself ablaze.

Officer Shirah was one of three officers to tackle the man to the ground, hoping to prevent him from lighting himself.

"I'm like bear-hugged around him and I can see his thumb on the lighter at that point," he said. "We were patting his hand, just beating his hand as hard as we could to get it out and it just would not go out."

The flames were extinguished, and the man was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Downtown Atlanta with second-degree burns. One of the two officers was taken to a local hospital with first-degree burns. The second officer was only singed.

Investigators said the man, identified as 26-year-old Timothy Singleton, of Monroe, Ga., will face charges in the incident, including aggravated assault on a police officer.

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