Arson suspect responsible for fire that killed 11 in Bohumín in custody
The district court in Karviná today detained a 54-year-old man accused of setting fire to an apartment in Bohumín on Saturday. The spokesperson of the Moravian-Silesian police, Pavla Jiroušková, told ČTK. The court fully complied with the prosecutor’s motion, which feared that the accused would flee or continue to commit a violent crime in fear of a heavy sentence. The fire killed 11 people, including three children.
“The court fully complied with my request and took the accused into custody for detention. The court justified it by the threat of a heavy sentence and the fear of repeating the crime,” said the supervising prosecutor Michal Król.
The accused arsonist, who was burned in the crime, was brought to court by the police with bandaged hands and a bulletproof vest. He was brought from the hospital and confessed to the crime. The prosecutor added that the man was in the care of doctors due to his injuries and would be moved to the Pankrác remand prison, which has a hospital.
The prosecutor added that, according to the findings so far, the man used petrol, which he had bought at the gas station shortly before. On Saturday around 18:00, he came to the apartment where his son, wife, grandson, and mother lived. “He initiated the fire. We do not think he was in the apartment. Whether he poured combustibles into the apartment through the open or under closed doors is still to be determined,” the prosecutor said.
According to the supervising public prosecutor, the motive for the arson was a disagreement with his family. “As a motive, he cites an attempt to intimidate his wife and son with whom he had long-standing disagreements,” said the prosector. Apparently, the trigger was the arsonist’s wife moved out and in with their son. “He claims that he did not realize what he could cause. He is currently showing some regret. However – what to think about such regret,” Król added.
At the time of the attack, 15 people were attending a child’s birthday party in the apartment. According to the public prosecutor, the fire killed the attacker’s wife, son, grandson and his mother. Two other children invited to the celebration also died. The plaintiff did not want to specify the ties to the other victims. “There were other people without kinship,” he said simply. Six people died directly in the apartment. Another five people died after falling from the window. Four managed to escape from the apartment through the balcony.
Police charged the attacker with murder and general danger on Monday. He faces up to life in prison. According to Krol, the investigation of the arson attack will take several months.