Arson alleged as Ethiopian national burns to death

2013-09-11 00:00

AN Ethiopian national burned to death early yesterday morning after he failed to escape from his house due to the burglar gate being locked.

Assefe Areso (30) was sleeping in a tuck shop in Phase 1 of France location when it was allegedly petrol-bombed. Police have recovered a melted plastic container that smelt of fuel near the burnt dwelling.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said they found the house already in flames when they arrived at about 6.45 in the morning. He said they immediately doused the flames.

The burglar guards of the house were then cut open and inside the house they found the body of a man with multiple burn injuries to his body.

“It is believed that during the early hours of this [yesterday] morning, Areso, who was guarding the premises for a tuck shop owner, was woken up by the smell of fire and smoke. Upon investigation he noticed that the perimeter of the house was on fire,” said Zwane.

He further said it was believed that when Areso attempted to escape through the locked front gate, he was engulfed by the flames and died.

“An empty melted plastic container with traces of fuel was found outside the front door. The motive for the attack is unknown. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and no arrests have been made yet” said Zwane.

ER 24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said it was understood that the man’s family went to look for him, only to find his charred remains.

“The man had suffered extensive burn injuries and there were no longer any signs of life upon initial assessment. The man was declared dead on scene,” said Jackson.

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