From Iceland — 14-Year Prison Sentence For Icelander Who Killed Two In Selfoss Fire

14-Year Prison Sentence For Icelander Who Killed Two In Selfoss Fire

Published May 13, 2020

Poppy Askham
Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

Vigfús Ólafsson has been convicted of manslaughter and arson for his involvement in a house fire that killed two in Selfoss in October 2018. The Supreme Court upheld the the decision to sentence 54-year-old Vigfús to 14 years in prison.

In October 2018, 47-year old woman and a 49-year-old man were killed in a fire in their home on Kirkjuvegur in Selfoss. The couple lived on the top floor of the building and firefighters were unable to reach them in time.

Vigfús was found to have started the fire in his apartment on a lower floor and was charged with both arson and manslaughter.

The Supreme Court determined that Vigfús had full awareness of the consequences of his actions, specifically that he knew that they could cause harm to the people living in the flat above him. The court found that he lit the fire and failed to control it or alert his upstairs neighbours who consequently died. However, he had the “lowest level of intent” required for arson and manslaughter convictions.

In addition to prison time, Vigfús will also be required to pay compensation to the children and parents of the deceased.

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