Arson assumed in Daegu fire that killed 7
A fire in a building housing many law firms in Daegu killed seven people Thursday morning and injured 46 others.
Arson is suspected by a man in his 50s who was unhappy with losing a civil court case.
According to the Daegu Police Agency and the local legal community, the office set on fire was of the lawyer for the other side in the case.
The suspect was found dead at the scene.
The fire started on the second floor of a seven-story building behind a court in Suseong District in Daegu, where many law firms are located, at 10:55 a.m. Thursday.
The fire killed seven unidentified people and injured 46 others, including those who inhaled smoke. Dozens of people were evacuated.
A report was called in to fire authorities that “black smoke was seen from the second floor of the building and an explosion was heard.”
The fire authorities deployed 50 fire trucks and 160 firefighters to the scene, and the fire was fully extinguished at 11:17 a.m.
Of the injured, 18 were taken to hospitals for treatment.
The dead were taken to a funeral hall at a nearby university hospital.
“I heard something breaking and screaming outside the office, and when I went out, the hallway was filled with smoke,” said 74-year-old Lee Hyun-woo, a lawyer, who was on the second floor of the building when the fire broke out.
“I saw an employee running out of an office where the fire first broke out and worrying about being the only one to escape,” Lee said.
Lee continued, “I broke a window with a hammer and stood on the railing outside, and a rescuer reached us with a ladder, which I climbed down with other people." The lawyer injured his hand.
The fire was set by a man in his 50s inside the building, police officials said.
"From CCTV footage, we found that the arson suspect had flammable substances in his hand," a police official said.
BY KIM JUNG-SEOK, KIM YOON-HO AND SEO JI-EUN [email@example.com]