Man Burns to Death After Running Into Fire at Burning Man Knockoff

A man at a Burning Man facsimile festival in Utah died after running into the ceremonial fire at the closing ceremonies on Saturday. Police are investigating the case as a suicide.

The man, Salt Lake City resident Christopher Wallace, ran into the fire that was built to burn down an effigy of a character from Where the Wild Things Are. The festival, Element 11, is Utah's answer to Burning Man.

According to the Associated Press, Wallace seemed deliberate in his actions.

Grantsville police Lt. Steve Barrett said the man had told some of the estimated 1,200 attendees in advance about his plans to run into the fire. The three-story-tall effigy, modeled on a character from the classic picture book "Where The Wild Things Are," had been burning for about 30 minutes and was fully engulfed when the man crossed a safety perimeter about 50 feet from the structure and jumped in, officials said.

A spokesperson for Element 11 told Deseret News that they didn't believe Wallace's death was an accident.

"He was very fast; he was very motivated," J.P. Bernier, a spokesman for Element 11, told the Deseret News. "It wasn't an accident or any act of negligence on anybody's part. He had a very deliberate objective to get past our volunteers, past our safety perimeter."

The fire had previously been measured at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

[Image via AP]