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Tenant confesses to starting Taichung fire after landlady refuses request to raise goats

Seventh body discovered following blaze determined to be goat

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Tenant confesses to starting Taichung fire after landlady refuses request to raise goats

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The investigation into the cause of the deadly building fire in Taichung took a bizarre twist on Monday (March 7) after a tenant confessed that he had set the building ablaze as revenge for the landlady refusing his request to raise goats and ordering him to move out.

The fire, which took place Sunday evening (March 6), caused six deaths and six injuries. Three of the deceased have been identified, while the DNA of the other three has been collected for analysis, as their bodies are not recognizable, CNA reported.

The Taichung District Prosecutors Office questioned the landlady, surnamed Chuang (莊), who told the media that the alleged arsonist, a tenant in his 40s surnamed Cheng (鄭), is a lunatic.

At a press conference on Monday, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Cho Chun-chung (卓俊忠) said the police's leads point to Cheng's involvement in the fire.

The chief of Taichung City Police's Criminal Investigation unit, Lin Ming-tso (林明佐) told the media that Cheng confessed to starting the fire during questioning. Cheng said he had done so because the landlady had refused to let him keep goats on the premises and told him to move out.

A seventh body found in a bathroom on the eighth floor Sunday that was initially believed to be human was later identified as a goat.

According to the investigation, after Cheng started the fire, he stayed on the scene to assist in the effort to put it out. He then stayed the night at a hotel arranged by the district office for tenants of the damaged building.

Police referred both Cheng and Chuang to the Taichung District Prosecutors Office on suspicion of committing offenses against public safety, the report said.