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December 29, 2012

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Man investigated for arson after 3 fires put 4 burn victims in hospital

A MAN was caught by police for alleged arson after fires damaged three houses and burned four people in the wee hours yesterday in an old neighborhood in Yangpu District.

The man, surnamed Shen, is still under police investigation.

Police said they found iron tubes, water bottles and gasoline at one of three burned houses in a lane on Zhoujiapai Road near Linqing Road.

The four victims - at least three in one family - were injured in one of the fires.

Two of the injured were in critical condition. The most severely injured, with 90 percent of his body burned, was not further identified by last night.

A 28-year-old man also was in critical condition with 80 percent of his body burned.

The man's father, 47, had 40 percent burns but was in more stable condition than the first two. The three were in intensive care at Changhai Hospital as of last night.

The fourth burn victim was the 41-year-old aunt of the 28-year-old man. Her burn injuries weren't as bad and she was in stable condition at the hospital yesterday.

The first of the series of fires happened about 2:45am in a three-story house at 200 Zhoujiapai Road.

"If I wasn't so quick to respond, I wouldn't have made it out," said a resident surnamed Du, who escaped from the first house by jumping from a second-story window to escape.

Du said his daughter woke him after hearing a strange sound downstairs. When they realized it was fire, Du and some of his neighbors put out the blaze with basins of water.

Almost immediately, however, Du's mahjong parlor nearby started burning and neighbors rushed to put it out. Fortunately, the fire had just started and there was not much damage, Du said.

Minutes later, a third fire sprung up at a two-story house several dozens of meters away.

The four were injured in that fire, at the house in Lane 1963 Yangshupu Road, which was seriously damaged.

One man had fire covering his whole body, a neighbor said. The life of that man, the worst injured, was in peril last night, hospital officials said.

A young man jumped from the second floor to escape. The three family members who were injured were trapped inside and calling for help before firefighters rescued them.


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