Family members accused of starting 23 fires in south west France

The Local France
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Family members accused of starting 23 fires in south west France
Three members of the same family are accused of starting more than 20 fires in south-west France. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Three members of the same family have appeared in court on suspicion of starting at least 23 fires in south-west France last summer, which caused hundreds of thousands of euros worth of damage.


The arrests came following a police surveillance operation that lasted several weeks.

"We followed them physically until we arrested them in the act when they had just set fire to vegetation," the commander of the Charente departmental gendarmerie group told reporters at a press conference.

The trio - a 51-year-old man, his 50-year-old wife and their 17-year-old daughter, are suspected of starting 23 fires in 16 towns and villages - including Chasseneuil, Saint-Adjutory, Mansle, Agris and Salles-de-Villefagnan - in the north of the Charente département during the heatwave and drought of summer 2022.

The three accused appeared in court last week, where the husband was remanded into custody, while his wife and daughter have been placed under judicial supervision pending further investigations.

The series of 23 fires, usually involving straw bales or vegetation, in communes across the region caused damage estimated at more than €300,000.



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