Man in custody after deadly Grasse fire kills three

grasse fire

A 47-year-old man with no prior record has reportedly been detained on suspicion of starting a fire in a central Grasse apartment building that killed three and injured many more.  

In the early hours of Sunday 13th August, a fire swept through a five-storey apartment building in the Place aux Aires of old town Grasse, killing three and causing injury to more than a dozen other residents.  


Surveillance footage shows a man fleeing the scene just minutes before the blaze took hold. 

According to local press, the man seen in the recordings has been arrested. The 47-year-old suspect, who is believed to be in custody in Nice, has no prior criminal record. 

“The city’s video surveillance revealed that an individual had left the building two minutes before the cameras detected the start of a fire,” Grasse’s Prosecutor Damien Savarzeix said in a statement. “At this stage of the investigation, the respondent denies any involvement in the occurrence of the facts.” 

The arrest was made at 8.35pm on the same day that the fire occurred for “deliberate damage by dangerous means resulting in death”, while a psychiatric expert was reportedly called for on Monday 14th August. 


The intense blaze, which broke out in the building’s stairwell at 2.49am on Sunday, killed two women and one man. The victims have not yet been formally identified due to the injuries sustained, according to Nice Matin.  

Three additional people were seriously injured – one remains in a life-threatening situation – and 13 more were treated for smoke inhalation. They have since been released from hospital. 

According to initial reports, it took the fire expert on the scene only a short time to rule out an accidental cause and confirm that the fire was an act of arson.  

Jérôme Viaud, the mayor of Grasse, told French newspaper Sud-Ouest that the somewhat dilapidated building had no “structural problem”, but that renovation on the façade and common areas was “planned for October”.  


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Photo source: Pixabay