Father arrested in Japan after fire kills six, including five children

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 2:41pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 2:57pm

Police arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murder on Friday after he confessed to setting fire to a flat in Ibaraki Prefecture where a woman and four children were found dead.

A sixth victim, an 11-year-old girl, was confirmed dead after being taken to a hospital.

Police arrested Hirobumi Komatsu on suspicion of killing the girl, who sustained multiple stab wounds, at his home in a three-floor block in Hitachi city. He handed himself in to the police.

The six victims, believed to be his 33-year-old wife, daughter and four sons, were found in a room on the first floor of the flat, firefighters said.

The police believe the boys were age five and seven, as well as three-year-old twins.

The fire broke out at about 5am and was put out about an hour later after around 10 fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene.

“My wife and five children were in my house,” said Komatsu, who also suffered burns, according to the police.

Komatsu is suspected of killing the girl at around 4.30am at home. He admitted to the charge and implied that he killed his wife and five children while being interviewed by police, sources said.

A neighbour of the family said Komatsu’s wife and children moved into the flat about three years ago and Komatsu later moved in with them.

The suspect had taken a week off work, saying his wife was sick, according to his employer.

The flat was part of nearly 40-year-old complex about 1.5km southwest of Ogitsu Station on the JR Joban line.