Eleven people, including three children, and a dog died in a fire, which broke out in a 13-storey panel house in the Czech town of Bohumín, Moravian-Silesian Region, on Saturday, 8th August. The investigation believes the fire to be an arson.
The tragedy happened on the 11th floor according to Lukas Popp, a spokesman for local firefighters, as reported by the Straits Times. At least 21 people suffered from the fire – 11 died, 10 suffered injuries of different degrees, five of them are still remaining at the hospital.
Six people (including three children and a dog) died on the 11th floor where the fire broke out, other five died by trying to escape the building and jumping out of the 12th floor, according to Al Jazeera. Two firefighters and a police officer suffered burns of various degrees, as well.
Because of the rapid speed at which the fire spread, the investigators were led to believe that the fire was a deliberate act, Seznam.cz reports. The main version suggests that the arsonist used a substance to accelerate the fire, such as petrol.
‘A fire like that typically affects one room, but this one hit the entire flat, all the rooms are burnt down,” said regional fire chief, Vladimir Vlcek, to Czech Television, CGTN reports. Yet, he abstained from calling the tragedy a deliberate crime.
The police have already arrested one suspect in this case, who was one of the inhabitants of the apartment, where the fire started. He is currently receiving treatment at the hospital for the burns. He is yet to be questioned, but the speculated motive is reported to be a family conflict, Vinegret.cz reports.
Czech authorities, including the president Miloš Zeman, expressed their condolences.
“My deepest condolences to the bereaved,” said Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček in a tweet, “I wish a speedy recovery to the injured firefighter.”
The local government of Bohumín is planning to provide financial and psychological assistance for the inhabitants of the building.