A volunteer firefighter is arrested in Chile after being held responsible for fires that killed more than 130 people


THE Investigative Police (PDI) of Chile arrested a suspect on Friday for his alleged responsibility in the resulting fire 137 dead and around 16,000 affected in the tourist Valparaso Region, in the center of the town.

The director general of the institute, Eduardo Cerna, In a press conference he specified that the individual was arrested in the municipality of Valparaso and that investigations have continued since then The participation of other subjects is not excluded.

He provided no details about the inmate or his identity.

However, the superintendent of Valparaso firefighters, Juan Paredes, mentioned in press statements that the suspect is a 22 year old man serving as a volunteer firefighter.

For his part, the commander of the local fire brigade, Vicente Maggiolo, He said the company is «devastated» and described the incident as «a completely isolated event» that «does not tarnish» the institution.

Asked about the meaning of the news that a volunteer firefighter was involved in the fire, Maggiolo defined the event as «terrible» in a company with more than 170 years serving Valparaso.

The megafire, which is also gone more than 10,000 homes destroyed, It started last February 2 in the nature reserve Peuelas Lake, in the center of Kilos, and for several days it burned various municipalities in what is already considered the the worst tragedy to have occurred in the country since the 8.8 magnitude earthquake on February 27, 2010 which caused the death of over 500 people.

From the beginning, the authorities indicated that they suspected that the fires were intentional, as they found traces of petrol and paraffin near the sources of the fire.

According to the director of the Chilean PDI, the arrest was the result of investigative work, meticulous field work and an exchange of information that lasted several months.

The procedures carried out, Cerna assured the press together with The Minister of the Interior and Security, Carolina Toh, it’s at Attorney General, Ángel Valencia, made it possible to «obtain the arrest warrant for the perpetrator of the fires that occurred in the month of February in the Valparaso region, with results that we all know and which cost the lives of more than 130 people».

the flames They devastated almost 9,000 hectares of the region, one of the most visited in the Andean country, of which approximately 4,200 correspond to native forests. They devoured a large part of the municipalities of Valparaso, Via del Mar, Quilpu and Villa Alemana.