A MAN walked into Wrexham Jobcentre, doused himself in petrol and threatened to set himself alight.
About 50 members of staff were evacuated from the Jobcentre Plus building yesterday (Wednesday) after the man’s dramatic announcement.
Emergency services were scrambled to the building on Grosvenor Road and a stand-off ensued with the man who was holding a lighter.
Five police cars, an ambulance and a fire crew were called at about 3pm and police blocked off the entry and exit points.
James Jones, of Pentre Broughton, said: “I had been going for an appointment and when I arrived the police and ambulance service were there.
“A woman told me a man with a can of petrol had threatened to set himself on fire.”
A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) said: “A man in his 40s has doused himself with petrol and is holding a lighter. Police have negotiators there and the fire service is there.”
Staff were allowed to collect their belongings and dispersed at about 3.45pm, and the drama was resolved by 4pm.
Michael McGivern, North Wales Police spokesman, said they were called to the disturbance at about 2.50pm.
“Police attended along with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and WAS.
“A man was taken into medical care at 4pm,” he said.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said the situation had been handled by police and they were waiting for information to establish a clearer picture of what had happened.
Members of staff and police officers at the entrance gates advised members of the public unable to get into the building that arrangements would be in place for benefit payments to be made automatically.
However, some Jobcentre visitors were affected by with the disruption.
Plas Madoc mother of one, Jenna Davies, 27, said: “I had come here for a crisis loan of £75 which I was supposed to be picking up to pay for food and gas. Now all this has happened.
“I don’t know what I am going to do, I don’t have any money on me.”