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Distraught woman in Anniston hospitalized after threatening to light herself and home on fire

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Anniston fire and rescue workers speak to a distraught woman outside her home on Terry Road, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (abc3340.com) Anniston fire and rescue workers speak to a distraught woman outside her home on Terry Road, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (abc3340.com)
ANNISTON, Alabama -- A distraught woman in Anniston caused quite the disturbance Thursday, commanding the attention of law enforcement and emergency personnel for an extended period of time as she thrashed around her house, threatening to burn herself alive and torch her home.

Authorities were called to the home on Terry Road around 11 a.m. and arrived to find the female upset, smashing potted-plants and other outdoor home decor. During an initial attempt at calming her down, the woman allegedly poured gasoline on herself and throughout her house, telling police that she would ignite the fuel if anyone got near her. Meanwhile, a staging area was set up by police a couple blocks from the location at Golden Springs Baptist Church, where a couple of fire engine companies and EMS workers waited to respond should they be needed. A crisis negotiation team was also at the church.

Police enlisted the help of the woman's friends and neighbors to keep her from hurting herself. Around 1 p.m., the lady was taken into custody as she took out the trash and placed at the foot of a tree in her yard, where a fire captain and others spoke to her for around 20 minutes. She was observed by paramedics and eventually transported to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

After securing the scene, firefighters moved in with a motorized ventilation system and began extracting the flammable gas fumes from the home.

Police didn't say why the woman was in distress.

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