Arson suspected in Gothenburg school fires

Two major fires broke out in school buildings, barely two kilometres from each other, in Angered in Gothenburg early on Saturday morning.

One building, which used to be a pre-school and is now used as a meeting place for a women’s association, was completely destroyed in the blaze which started at around 3am.

“We managed to save a few computers from the building,” said Anders Kimfors at the emergency services in Gothenburg.

Then at 5.30am the second alert was raised, this time at Långmosse school two kilometres away. Some 30 firemen were called to the scene.

Three hours later the fire brigade told news agency TT that the blaze had been put out. After having cleared the roof, the firemen were able to confirm that the fire had only taken hold of the facade, where it began. The damage was limited.

“The emergency services reported that they detected a powerful smell of petrol as they arrived at the fires. So it would be strange if they hadn’t been started deliberately, and yet started at almost the same time so near to each other,” said Mikael Sjöstedt, spokesman at Gothenburg police.

Nor are the emergency services ruling out the possibility of arson:

“These are not buildings which spontaneously combust. Obviously there are suspicions that they were started deliberately, but that’s for the police to investigate,” said spokesman Thomas Gustafsson.

Nobody was reported to have been injured in the fires.