A MAN reportedly threatened to set himself on fire at a B&M store today.

The shop in Bicester town centre closed at about midday, as police and firefighters dealt with a 'fear for welfare' call-out.

Several people on social media, including a woman who said she was inside the store at the time, reported that a man had poured petrol over himself and attempted to light it.

Authorities have not confirmed the specific nature of what happened, but have clarified that a man was taken to a 'place of safety'.

Another customer, posting on Facebook, said a 'brave' man tried to talk to the man in hope of persuading him to put the lighter down. 

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A Thames Valley Police spokesperson confirmed that officers were called at midday to a 'fear for welfare incident'.

She added: "Officers attended Sheep Street, Bicester and the incident was safely resolved."

A B&M spokesperson confirmed with the Oxford Mail that the shop had been closed, but has since reopened.

A post on a Bicester residents' page at 1pm reported an 'armed' police presence in the town centre and a fire engine.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said it sent two crews from Bicester. 

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We were asked by Thames Valley Police to assist at a concern for welfare incident they were managing in Bicester centre just after midday today.

"Fortunately the incident ended with no injuries and we were able to assist TVP officers in transporting the patient involved to a place of safety."

Emergency services have since left the scene.

  • Mental health charity Samaritans can be reached for free by calling 116 123