Six migrants and a guard suffered smoke inhalation after a migrant in a German asylum home attempted to burn down the building.
The attempted arson took place in a refugee centre in Stahnsdorf, in the German region of Potsdam. While the arsonist was arrested by police, the mayor of the town claims it’s not the first time conflicts have arisen in the home, reports German broadcaster RBB.
The migrant set fire to what has been described as a handbag or rucksack on fire on the third floor of the home which was put out by a security guard. Oliver Bergholz from the Police Directorate West explained: “A security guard employee had to put out the fire. He was slightly injured doing so. Witnesses observed a male person leaving the building who then went to a neighboring building. There was then a fire within the man’s room.”
Bernd Albers, mayor of Stahnsdorf, said it wasn’t the first time the authorities had trouble with migrants in the home. “I am glad that the police have taken the alarm seriously after more than 50 false alarms having been set off by the inhabitants of the transition home. It would have been understandable if it would have been different [and the fire brigade not responded] – especially at two o’clock in the morning,” he said.
Six migrants living in the home and one of the guards were treated at a local hospital due to smoke inhalation. Two hundred residents of the home had to be evacuated due to the fire and the suspect, a 25-year-old Somali migrant, was arrested as police arrived on scene. Police believe the arson was committed in reaction to a dispute, but details remain unclear.
The arson of asylum homes by migrants themselves has caused controversy in Germany as many media sources often initially report far-right activists as being suspected of the crimes. In one case the migrant even drew swastikas on the walls in order to try and pin the blame on neo-Nazis, though later confessed that he had set the fire himself.
In Dusseldorf, a migrant set fire to a huge complex because he did not get a wake-up call for breakfast during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In Gössweinstein, a fire started when migrants attempted to smoke a hookah pipe that led to a fire that burned down their home.