PORTLAND – Police say the man who doused himself with gasoline then ignited it is a 24-year-old local man.

Police have notified the man’s family but are not yet releasing the man’s identity.

Adam Stoddard, who was driving past and spotted the flames along with his co-worker, said he grabbed the fire extinguisher from his truck, ran to the man and put out the flames.

The fire was intense but did not appear to have been burning long, said Stoddard, a member of the Maine National Guard and a former firefighter in Hollis.

2:55 p.m.

A man set himself on fire in Longfellow Square shortly after noon today.

Police say the man apparently doused himself with gasoline in his second-floor apartment at 675 Congress St.  He then walked across the street to the statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and ignited himself with a lighter, police said.

Robert Michael Rodriguez was one of the first on the scene, after someone came rushing into a nearby store, yelling for someone to call 911.

“I threw myself on the flames,” Rodriguez said, describing flames that were shoulder high, even as the young man lay on the ground. As he and two other bystanders struggled to extinguish the flames, Rodriguez said he held the man’s hand. “I wanted him to have hope.”

The man was speaking clearly as rescue workers arrived to treat him, but fire officials said serious burns can gradually compromise a person’s system. His burns were serious, but police had no immediate information about his condition.

Rescue crews responded. He was taken to Maine Medical Center and his condition is unknown.

By the time the fire was extinguished the man had burns covering most of his body from the chin down, police said.

Police said it appears to be a suicide attempt. There was no political statement associated with the self-immolation.