Court finds apartment fire caused by man's dog
David Landes · 11 Sep 2008, 09:09
Published: 11 Sep 2008 09:09 GMT+02:00
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Sadly, the man’s dog, Butler, died in the blaze, along with a cat and two hamsters.
When firefighters received the call about the blaze, no one was home at the apartment, reports the Helsingborg Dagblad (HD) newspaper.
All they found were the remains of the man’s pets.
A subsequent investigation of the scene revealed that three out of the stove’s four burners had been lit to the maximum setting.
Furthermore, a popcorn machine and some paper had been lying on top of the stove, leading authorities to suspect that the 30-year-old had set the fire himself.
“I could never do such a thing. It was after all my home which was destroyed and my animals which died,” the man told the newspaper.
Several witnesses supported the 30-year-old’s claim by testifying to how devastated he was following the fire.
But the question remained: who turned on the burners?
When it was revealed that a tray full of coconut covered cookies, a favourite of the late Butler, was sitting on a counter top beside the stove, another theory began to develop.
Perhaps it was in fact Butler who, in a whole-hearted attempt to get a mouthful of his beloved cookies, managed to turn on the burners and knock the popcorn machine onto the stove.
While the prosecutor doubted the Butler-theory and wanted the 30-year-old sent to prison for arson, the court eventually accepted the possibility that, while not common, a hungry dog could manage to turn on a stove.
While free from the arson charges, the 30-year-old’s legal troubles didn't end there.
During the trial it was revealed that the man had driven a car without a licence, resulting in a two month prison sentence.
“Ugh, this is so embarrassing,” he said to HD.