As the public prosecutor announced, a 32-year-old suspect has already been arrested. According to the information, it is said to be a long-time volunteer firefighter from the region, who, according to the prosecutor, is charged with at least three other fires. The fireman denies these and other acts. Nevertheless, an arrest warrant was issued for serious arson. He is said to have set fire to the refugee accommodation with a fire accelerant in the roof area above the entrance, but denies the crime. The public prosecutor’s office therefore excludes a previously suspected political background to the crime.
Hotel burned down completely
At the time of the fire in the former hotel, 14 refugees from Ukraine and three DRK employees were in the building. Everyone was able to escape the burning house unharmed. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the suspect firefighter is said to have helped extinguish the fire. The building burned down completely, resulting in millions in damage. The former hotel is said to be demolished.
End of a 19-part fire series?
According to the investigative group, there have been a series of 19 fires in the region since April. A local operations manager pointed out at the time that a “fire devil” was being searched for in the region beforehand, who is said to have started several fires. These included burning straw heaps and wooded areas or carports. The team of investigators have indications that the 32-year-old was not only used to extinguish the fires, but was also spotted nearby when at least three fires broke out. About 100 people are said to have been interviewed.
More protection for refugee shelters demanded
Only recently, after the fires in East German refugee accommodation in Groß Strömkendorf and Bautzen, two aid organizations called for better protection of the facilities. According to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, in addition to private security services, the police must also ensure more security. Timo Reinfrank, board member of the foundation, said that this is particularly true for places in regions with increased anti-democratic potential and areas where the right-wing extremists or the AfD are mobilizing against refugees.