Solingen: Suspect released after fire

In the case of the apartment building in Solingen that was allegedly intentionally set on fire with four deaths, a man who was temporarily arrested is now at large again.

Solingen: Suspect released after fire

In the case of the apartment building in Solingen that was allegedly intentionally set on fire with four deaths, a man who was temporarily arrested is now at large again. Prosecutor Heribert Kaune-Gebhardt told the German Press Agency that the man was released after a lengthy interrogation after his alibi had been checked. There is “no urgent suspicion” of a crime.

Kaune-Gebhardt said the investigation will now continue “with an open mind in all directions”. “Every tip will be investigated,” said the spokesman. No other suspects are in police custody. However, “many clues” emerged from the investigation. There is still no evidence of a racist background in the fire in Solingen, south of Wuppertal.

During the devastating fire on Tuesday night, a family from Bulgaria was unable to escape from the attic of the house. The 28 and 29-year-old parents died along with their three-year-old toddler and an infant who was only five months old. The baby's body was only found hours later in the badly burned attic. The family had only recently come from Bulgaria, Kaune-Gebhardt confirmed a WDR report.

According to the public prosecutor's office, three injured people are being treated in intensive care after the major fire in the apartment building. According to the public prosecutor's office, this is also a family with a child coming from Bulgaria. Five other tenants were also injured. On Tuesday night, residents jumped out of the 100-year-old burning building onto the street in fear of death.

The public prosecutor confirmed that there had been a fire in the house before. A fire from 2022 is part of the assessments. Any information received would be examined by the investigating authorities. The investigators had also called on the public to help clarify the major fire.

Mourning rallies for the victims

There is great sympathy in Solingen in view of the fire disaster. The city and the families of the deceased invited people to a silent march to the burned-out house in the afternoon. There will be a short prayer from an imam. Mayor Tim Kurzbach said he had spoken to the relatives for a long time "and our hearts are heavy." Many people from Solingen wanted to express their deep sympathy. At the request of the relatives, Kurzbach asked that no political messages be given. "Of course, together with the families of those affected, we would like to see a quick clarification so that the depressing speculation can be dispelled."

On Thursday evening, many people expressed their condolences at a rally at the house. More than 150 participants came, mourned the victims and showed solidarity with their relatives. The Amadeu Antonio Foundation, which supports initiatives against right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism, as well as the left-wing alliance “Solinger Appell” called for the rally at short notice.

The public prosecutor's office had previously presented the results of a preliminary report from fire experts. The investigators therefore assume that the arson was intentionally set. The remains of an accelerant were clearly detected in the wooden stairwell. The investigation is based on allegations of murder or attempted murder.

According to the information, the residents of the house have different nationalities. This had fueled fears, among others among the Islamic association Ditib and the North Rhine-Westphalia State Integration Council, that there could be a racist motive behind the crime.

Fire brings back memories of 1993

The catastrophic fire brought back memories of the arson attack in Solingen a good 30 years ago. In May 1993, five women and girls of Turkish origin were murdered in a nighttime arson attack with a right-wing extremist background. The attack marked the low point in a series of racist attacks on people of foreign origin in Germany.

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