A man who helped rescue eight people, including a pregnant woman, from a burning building in the Rue Brogniez in Anderlecht last Sunday has been arrested and charged with setting the fire himself. The 40-year-old man came to the attention of police at the scene, where he was interfering with the operations of the fire service.
The man is also accused of setting another fire in Boulevard de la Révision in Anderlecht in August, in an incident in which one of the victims died later from burn injuries.
It is thought the man’s motive was to present himself as a hero by saving people from burning buildings – fires which he arranged for himself. The prosecutor’s office in Brussels said the man has no papers, and has a history of mental problems. He is known to the authorities for involvement in drugs cases.
He has been charged with deliberately setting fire to an occupied buildings at night, resulting in the death of a third party – an offence that carries a sentence of up to 20 years. He is being detained.