Suspect Charged in Fatal House Fire Skip to content

Suspect Charged in Fatal House Fire

By Larissa Kyzer

fire Vesturgata Bræðraborgarstígur
Photo: A screenshot from RÚV. The house on Bræðraborgarstígur where three died in a fire in June 2020.

Police have charged the man who has been held in connection with a house fire this June that left three people dead and two in critical condition, mbl.is reports. The suspect, who is in his sixties, has been in custody since the day of the fire.

Friday marked twelve weeks that the man has been in custody—the maximum amount of time a person can be held without being charged. It has been confirmed that the man will remain in custody for another four weeks. The suspect was charged with manslaughter under Article 211 of the general penal code and arson under Article 164. Per the terms of Article 211, punishment for manslaughter calls for anywhere from five years’ imprisonment (the minimum allowable sentence) to life. Article 164 dictates that the punishment for arson be no less than six months’ imprisonment.

See Also: Fire Sparks Conversation About Working Conditions Facing Foreigners

The house that burned down was located at Bræðraborgarstígur 1 in the westside neighbourhood of Vesturbær and was on a list of illegal residential housing published by the fire brigade in 2017. The building was reported on as far back as 2015 in Stundin newspaper regarding sub-standard housing for foreign workers and was covered two years later by the TV programme Kveikur, which did an investigation of illegal residence in the house.

All three people who died in the fire were Polish citizens. The families of the victims have begun legal proceedings of their own and will be suing both the man in custody as well as the owner of the house.

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