Suspected arsonist behind deadly Bohumín fire that killed 11 now in police custody

Eleven people, including three children, died on Saturday in the tragic Bohumín fire

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 11.08.2020 13:00 (updated on 11.08.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Bohumín, North Moravia, Aug 11 (CTK) – The Karvina District Court today ordered that the 54-year-old man accused of setting a fatal fire in a flat in Bohumín be taken into custody, since otherwise he might escape or commit further crimes, the police have tweeted.

Eleven people, including three children, died in the fire in a flat on a big prefab house’s 11th floor on Saturday afternoon.

The custody measure was proposed by Michal Król, the supervising state attorney.

The police brought the man, who sustained burns during his criminal act, to the courtroom with his hands bandaged and in a bullet-proof jacket.

The man confessed to having committed the arson.

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With regard to his injury, the man is in medical care, and he will therefore be placed in the Prague-Pankrac custody prison that includes a hospital, Król said.

He said that according to the investigation, the man used petrol he had bought at a petrol station shortly before. On Saturday, around 18:00, he arrived at the flat where his son, his wife, his grandson and his mother lived.

“He set the fire. We don’t presume that he entered the flat. It is up to experts to ascertain whether he poured the inflammable liquid inside through the open or the shut door,” Król said.

He said the motive of the arson were internal family relations. The man set fire to the flat where his wife was living after having broken with him.

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“He says his motive was to scare his wife and son, with whom he had been in long-lasting discords,” Król said.

Another aspect was the man’s failure to emotionally cope with the fact that his wife moved from him to their son’s flat, Król said.

According to him, the suspect said he had not entered the flat but managed to pour a part of the inflammable liquid inside and then on the door before setting it on fire.

“The man asserts that he did not realize what his act might cause. He has shown regret to an extent. However, what should we think about such regret?” Król said.

There were 15 people in the flat at the critical moment, attending a child’s birthday party. The fire spread very fast.

Six victims, including the children, died in the burning flat and another five after jumping out from the windows in an attempt to escape from the flames. The victims are the attacker’s wife, son, grandson and mother, and another two children who attended the party, Król said, adding that the other victims were not relatives of the attacker.

Four people succeeded in escaping onto the balcony of the neighboring flat.

On Monday, the police accused the attacker of murder and a public safety threat. If found guilty, he faces a high punishment up to life imprisonment.

Król said the investigation of the arson attack will take up several months, including the completion of the opinions of experts who will assess the way the fire spread and also the mental condition of the suspect.

According to Król, nothing indicates any mental disorder on the suspect’s part.

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