San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arson suspected in Ecuador embassy fire

Ecuador will request authorization from the Costa Rican government to send a group of experts to aid in the investigation of a fire that broke out in the South American country’s embassy in San José, an Ecuadorean official said on Thursday.

On Wednesday at daybreak, a fire consumed half of the embassy building, which houses offices in an exclusive sector west of the Costa Rican capital. No injuries were reported. 

Chief Costa Rican fire investigator Álvaro Sánchez told AFP it appeared the fire was intentionally set.

“We understand there was arson involved because on the second floor we found four flash points, newspapers with accelerants on the stairs, and we work with a canine unit that found accelerant in other areas as well,” Sánchez said. 

A press release from Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry said Ecuadorean specialists would join the investigation “in order to determine the cause [of the fire], once it is approved by the Costa Rican government.”

Ecuador’s ambassador in San José, Daisy Espinel, who was in Ecuador at the time of the fire, will travel to Costa Rica to meet with local authorities.

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