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Osaka: Man, 68, accused of starting house fire that killed 2 persons

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police last week arrested a 68-year-old man for starting a fire in a residence in the town of Kumatori last year that resulted in the deaths of its two occupants, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 26).

At some point over the night of December 5 and the following morning, Shoichi Taniguchi, of no known occupation, started the fire in the garage of the one-floor wooden structure, located in the Ogaito area.

The occupants of the house — Yoshio Sasaki, 80, and his wife, 74-year-old Kastsuko — perished as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation, according to the results of autopsies, police said.

Shoichi Taniguchi
Shoichi Taniguchi

Taniguchi, who has been accused of arson, admits to the allegations. “I got irritated and started the blaze,” the suspect was quoted by police.

According to police, Sasaki was wheelchair bound with his wife serving as his nurse.

At the time of his arrest, on February 18, Taniguchi was living a transient existence in the southern part of Osaka Prefecture. However, he lived in the area of the residence until about six months before the fire, police said.

Taniguchi surfaced as a person of interest after police gathered information persons currently living in the area.