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FIRE

‘Dawn pyromaniac’ re-arrested in Skåne

A 45-year-old convicted pyromaniac was taken in for questioning by police in Ystad in southern Sweden early Monday morning on suspicions of attempting to set fires in the area.

The suspect was arrested just before 3am Monday morning on the outskirts of Ystad, although police have yet to release a statement concerning the arrest.

Following an interrogation, police decided to hold the man on arson suspicions.

It remains unclear, however, whether the 45-year-old attempted to set fire to a residential building in Sandskogen, or if the accusations pertain to another incident.

The man, referred to in the Swedish media as the ‘dawn pyromaniac’, has previously served a three year jail sentence for two arson attempts in Dalarna in north-central Sweden.

He gained national notoriety following a targeted campaign in which his name and photograph were published on the internet.

In January of this year, he was served with a five month jail sentence for threats against a public official.

Last year, the 45-year-old was also linked to a number of unexplained fires in Skåne, including four blazes which broke out within hours of one another in Simrishamn.

He was arrested once more in December near a burned down summer cottage in the Ystad area. At the time, however, police were unable to conclusively tie the suspect to either of these unexplained fires.

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CHRISTMAS

Sweden’s Gävle Christmas goat ready to return for festive season

Sweden's straw yule goat Gävlebocken, whose biggest claim to fame is its tendency to get burned down every year, is all set for its annual return on Sunday.

Sweden's Gävle Christmas goat ready to return for festive season
The ill-fated 2016 Gävlebocken. Photo: Pernilla Wahlman/TT

Every year, the Christmas goat (Gävlebocken) in the Slottstorget square in Gävle, central Sweden, attracts a media storm with locals dreaming up new ways to protect the arson-prone 13-metre-high creation.

Despite their efforts, including in some years spraying the goat in anti-flammable liquid, the goat usually goes up in flames long before Swedes have opened their Christmas presents.

Last year, the goat surprisingly made it to Boxing Day intact, to the delight of organisers, who were reported to have put a “secret” plan into effect to protect it.

In 2016 it was less fortunate, going down in flames mere hours after its inauguration.

READ ALSO: 'Memorial' to be held for Sweden's giant yule goat

“Many people are invested” in the straw goat in Gävle, Maria Wallberg of the town’s municipality told TT.

The central Swedish town is naturally proud of its luckless Christmas decoration, despite the fact it has burned town 29 times during its 50-year history.

Thousands of people are expect to attend the unveiling of the goat on Sunday, with the ceremony to be presented by Swedish comedian Clara Henry.

“It means an incredible amount that the city has such a strong symbol which is known all over the world,” Wallberg said.

Security around the giant goat is expected to be high, both during its inauguration day and throughout December. Security guards and cameras will both be deployed to keep an eye on it behind its fencing, while a taxi rank has been moved to the square to increase the presence of people in the area.

“For security reasons, we can’t go into too much detail,” Wallberg said of any further precautions.

Historical precedent is against Gävlebocken. In its first year, 1966, it burned down on New Year’s Eve and it has only made it through the entire month on 15 occasions. It has been burned, stolen and vandalised. In 1976, someone drove a stock car into it.


Orörd = undamaged; uppeldad = burned down; annan skada = otherwise damaged; oklart öde = fate unknown. Graphic: TT

“An attack early in the season would mean cancellations at hotels and restaurants. So it is incredibly important for Gävle, Gävle’s businesses and for everyone who wants to visit the goat that it is still standing at New Year,” Wallberg said.

READ ALSO: Five weirdest attacks on Gävle's arson-prone Christmas goat

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