Man dies after setting himself on fire at Oss town hall

Ambulance in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Stock photo of an ambulance in the Netherlands. April 1, 2019photo: / DepositPhotos

Update 12:15 p.m. - The man succumbed to his injuries in hospital, his lawyer confirmed to NOS

A man set himself on fire in front of the town hall in Oss on Monday morning. He was rushed to hospital with serious injuries, the Oost-Brabant police said on Twitter. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital, his lawyer confirmed to NOS. The man has been in conflict with the municipality and other authorities about his housing situation for almost two years, Brabants Dagblad reports.

According to the local newspaper, the man is 54-year-old Arie den Dekker. In 2018 he testified on the assassination of Peter Netten in Oss. In September of that year, the house on Aengelbertlaan that he rented from the municipality burned down after a fire bomb was thrown into it, believed to be retaliation for his testimony. After that, the judicial authorities housed Den Dekker in various places outside Oss for his protection, but that protection program was suddenly halted in April last year and the man ended up on the street.

Since April last year, Den Dekker took various actions to protest his housing problems, Brabants Dagblad wrote. He was convicted for throwing eggs at the town hall windows, and leaving rotten fish in the main hall of the building on Raadhuislaan. He doused himself in cow manure several times under the motto: "I am treated like shit here". And once before he doused himself with petrol and threatened to set himself on fire. "I learned a hard lesson," Den Dekker said to Brabants Dagblad earlier this month. "Just shut up and don't report anything to the police. Because they don't care about you."

The first report about the incident at the Oss town hall was made at 7:26 a.m. on Monday. Firefighters, paramedics, and a trauma team by helicopter was dispatched to the scene within minutes of the first alarm.