Man Confesses To Arson - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Man Confesses To Arson

Published March 16, 2016

Main photo by
Art Bicnick

A man in his forties has confessed to police that he deliberately set fire to a workshop on Grettisgata last week.

Vísir reports that the man, who has suffered from mental health issues, is currently in custody at “an appropriate institution.” Police had taken two men into custody in connection with the fire, as they were both spotted on security camera footage leaving the building shortly before the fire broke out, but the other suspect was found to have no connection with the blaze.

As reported, the fire broke out at around 20:00 on March 7 at a workshop on Grettisgata. Despite the rain that poured over Reykjavík that evening, eyewitnesses reported heavy smoke from the burning building. The smell of rubber was so powerful that nearby residents were advised to keep their windows closed.

The fire has raised numerous questions. No one knows how the fire broke out – the building is unstable, and in danger of collapsing, so investigations have not yet been conducted. Police also have not ruled out that more than two people could have been involved in the fire, but would not disclose what part the current person is custody may have played.

Fortunately, no one was severely injured or killed in the blaze. However, the building did house the art gallery Gallerí Verkstæði, and three artists have reportedly lost everything in the fire. As such, a benefit event is to be held at the bar Húrra on March 31. Those unable to attend can also lend their support via donations, which can be submitted via the bank account information provided in the event details.

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