Florida man sets hospital bed on fire to get nurse’s attention, police say

A man who felt like he was being ignored set his hospital bed on fire while another patient was in the room in an attempt to get a nurse’s attention, according to the New Smyrna Beach Police Department.

John King told police he felt ignored by hospital staff after asking for his clothes to be brought to him. He admitted to setting a plastic bag on fire Feb. 22 to get the staff’s attention, according to police records.

Mr. King’s hospital roommate told officials that he saw Mr. King light a fire, but convinced him to put out the flame. However, Mr. King later relit the fire, and the roommate pressed an emergency button in their shared room.

A nurse put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. Mr. King was arrested on a felony charge of arson, the report said. He was at the hospital for respiratory failure and said he had no intention of harming anyone.

The bed, which costs $4,000, was damaged beyond repair, the hospital’s administrator said.

“Federal laws that protect patient privacy prohibit the disclosure of any information related to a specific patient’s care,” Lindsay Cashio, director of communications at AdventHealth Central Florida Division – North Region, told Becker’s in an emailed statement. “Safety is of utmost importance at AdventHealth and we are so proud of our staff for their swift action which helped quickly resolve this situation.”

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