North Rhine-Westphalia: Firefighter arrested as suspected arsonist

Cologne (dpa / lnw) - A Cologne firefighter is suspected of being a serial arsonist and of having set fire to eight cars.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Firefighter arrested as suspected arsonist

Cologne (dpa / lnw) - A Cologne firefighter is suspected of being a serial arsonist and of having set fire to eight cars. The 20-year-old was caught in the act on Wednesday night and arrested, as the police and prosecutors reported.

The Cologne fire brigade confirmed on Friday that it was an employee - and reacted with dismay: "We regret that someone from the Cologne fire brigade is involved in the incidents." Several media had previously reported that it was a firefighter.

"We are here to save lives, alleviate suffering and avert harm. Such a suspicion affects us all and upsets us deeply." The suspect has been suspended until the allegations have been clarified and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against him.

Civil investigators had seen the suspect leaving a garage yard at night. In the yard, officers noticed a burning car. While a police officer fought the flames with a fire extinguisher, his colleagues stopped the suspect and overpowered him.

They found accelerant and a lighter in his clothing. During a search of his apartment, the police confiscated further fire accelerants, two computers and four tablets.

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