Xingnan Road in Zhonghe district, New Taipei City. Photo: Google Maps
Xingnan Road in Zhonghe district, New Taipei City. Photo: Google Maps

A 49-year-old man from Myanmar was arrested on Thursday by Taiwanese police for allegedly setting a deadly fire in a residential building in Zhonghe district of New Taipei City on Wednesday evening.

At 8:37pm, a fire broke out in a four-story apartment building on Xingnan Road, killing at least nine people and leaving two others injured, Taiwan News reported. It was said that a lot of migrant workers were living in the building.

According to witnesses, the suspect was arguing with a resident on the fourth floor when he splashed a bottle of gasoline around and set it ablaze.

The fire spread from the fourth floor of the building through the third and fifth floors. Firemen arrived in a short time and had put out the fire by 9:15pm.

The New Taipei City Fire Department said flammable materials in the building such as wood resulted in the rapid spread of the blaze.

A total of 178 firefighters, 34 fire appliances and 27 ambulances were deployed to the scene.

The fire killed four Taiwanese residents aged between 33 and 50, two female foreign nationals including a 24-year-old Indonesian woman, and three others who were burned so badly that their identities could not be determined. Two people suffered minor injuries.

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