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Arson suspected in Chatan fire that kills one

Date Posted: 2008-08-23

Arson investigators are trying to piece together the sequence of events in a Chatan Town fire late Wednesday afternoon in which firemen discovered a burned body as they extinguished the blaze.
Five children were still in the Montessory School on the building’s first floor when flames and smoke began pouring from the second and third stories of the concrete building, bringing firefighters to the Hamagawa area. Shaken and frightened, the youngsters were marshaled out of the building to safety as fire trucks began directing water on the flames. Officials say none of the children or school staff were injured. Most of the students at the child education school are foreigners.
As firefighters worked their way through the fire site, a burned body was found laying on the floor. Arson investigators say they’ve no idea who the adult male is, adding identification isn’t easy because of the burns to his body. Witnesses and residents have told police they saw a stranger in the building, and added no occupants are missing or unaccounted for. The fire burned the second and third floors of the building, blowing out all windows and turning white walls a soot black.
Investigators have learned that a man was seen spreading some sort of liquid on the floor in the building shortly before the fire broke out. They believe the man may have set the fire, but don’t know why. Arson investigators and police are continuing their search for details on the man, and motivation for setting the fire.

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