Fire Destroys Houses In Eastern San José

May 6, 2005

POLICE arrested a 45-year-old manwith the last name Arrieta for allegedlystarting a fire that destroyed five buildingslate Wednesday night in BarrioPinto.Eight residents of the eastern San Joséneighborhood signed a statement identifyingArrieta as the person who started thefire, according to a statement from thePublic Security Ministry.The buildings – one general store andfour homes – were completely destroyedby the flames.Carmen Pol, a spokeswoman for theNational Insurance Institute (INS), whichoversees Costa Rica’s firefighting division,told The Tico Times that while therewas water in the hydrants closest to thescene, the equipment used to transport thewater to the blaze was not working properly.Firefighters therefore had to use athird hydrant, farther away, that had aslower flow of water and with which theequipment could be used successfully.According to Channel 7 TV News,the fire began at 10:15 p.m. in front of theneighborhood’s school; in addition to thefive buildings it burned to the ground, itpartially destroyed two additional homes.Arrieta is a homeless man who hasbeen arrested various times, neighborstold Channel 7.

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