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Court remands third arson suspect over Espoo pizzeria fire

A court in Espoo has remanded a third person into custody on suspicion of involvement in a fire that destroyed a pizzeria in Espoo last week. Police had previously held two men in connection with the fire.

Pizzeriassa syttyi sunnuntai-iltana tulipalo, joka oli polttopulloisku kertoo poliisi.
Police suspect revenge as a motive for the pizzeria fire. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

The Espoo District Court has remanded a third person into custody on suspicion of involvement in an arson attack that completely destroyed a pizzeria in Leppävaara last week.

"Last week we arrested three people. One of them has been detained and two are free at this stage. Altogether three are still in custody," said lead investigator Teemu Värtinen of the Espoo police department.

The fire started at the establishment on the night of Sunday 25 June, when a fire bomb was hurled at the pizzeria window. Staff and customers who were in the restaurant at the time attempted to put out the fire, but failed. Fire officials eventually brought the blaze under control, however the pizzeria was completely destroyed.

The perpetrators also threw a fire bomb at a neighbouring restaurant, but no serious damage was reported.

The Western Uusimaa District Court previously remanded two men aged 32 and 34 detained by police on Sunday after the fire, on suspicion of aggravated arson.

Previous convictions

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the older of the two had previous convictions for offences such as assault, threats, illegal firearms possession and drug trafficking and usage. The younger had convictions for assault, sexual assault, drunk driving and providing police with false identification.

Police believe that the motive for the arson attack was revenge.

"We have the idea that revenge was probably the motive in this case. This is what we are currently investigating. As has previously emerged, one of the perpetrators knows the injured party or has ties with the injured party," Chief Inspector Teemu Värtinen told Yle previously.

Värtinen declined further comment on the case, only saying that additional details would be communicated at a later date.

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