HOKKAIDO (TR) – Hokkaido Prefectural Police have arrested a 51-year-old man for allegedly starting fire to an apartment in Hakodate City that resulted in the death of an elderly male acquaintance, reports Kyodo News (Apr. 29).
At around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sakae Saito, of no known occupation, allegedly set fire to the two-floor wooden apartment containing the room of 74-year-old Masahito Kimura, located in the Horaicho area.
Saito, who has been accused of arson in an inhabited building, denies the allegations. “I don’t know why I was arrested,” the Hakodate-Nishi Police Station. “I wasn’t at that location.”
However, police arrested Saito, who has admitting knowing Kimura, after a witness confirmed his presence around the time the fire started.
While extinguishing the flames, fire personnel found the body of Kimura inside his room. However, he was later confirmed dead at a hospital.
Two other men lived in five other rooms in the structure. The flames did not reach the other rooms, but the men were taken to a hospital due to smoke inhalation.