Police arrest teenage boy for fire at Daegu hospital

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Police arrest teenage boy for fire at Daegu hospital

Police have arrested a patient for setting a psychiatric hospital in Daegu on fire on Wednesday.
 
According to the Daegu Dongbu Police Precinct on Thursday, police arrested a teenage boy, who had been staying at the hospital, on the scene. Police suspect he used a lighter to start the fire.
 
A hospital employee reported the fire to emergency services after discovering flames on the hospital's seventh floor. Surveillance footage shows the fire beginning at 10:46 p.m.
 
Fire authorities arrived at the scene four minutes after the call, but a group of six hospital employees and patients had already used on-site extinguishers to put out the flames. Sixty-three patients who were in the ward on the seventh floor were evacuated.
 
Eight patients suffered from smoke inhalation –– three of whom were sent to nearby hospitals for treatment –– but no major injuries or deaths were reported.
 
The fire did cause property damage from burning beds and walls in the ward. Firefighting authorities are still assessing the extent of the damage.
 
The total number of patients in the entire hospital at the time was 209, and patients on floors other than the seventh were not evacuated because the fire did not spread to other floors.
 
The hospital where the arson occurred suffered a previous fire in 2019, when a patient set fire to a laundry room, forcing 10 people to evacuate.
 
According to police, the patient set fire to the hospital because he disliked the employees.
 
BY KIM JUNG-SEOK, MICHAEL LEE   [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
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