Arson suspect in HCMC deadly house fire says acted out of romantic conflict

By Quoc Thang   November 21, 2023 | 06:55 pm PT
Arson suspect in HCMC deadly house fire says acted out of romantic conflict
Nguyen Van Nhu at a police station in HCMC for allegedly setting a house on fire, killing three people, Nov. 21, 2023. Photo by police
A man in HCMC told the police that romantic conflicts with a woman drove him to kill her and set her house on fire, killing two toddlers in it.

Nguyen Van Nhu, 28, was arrested Tuesday night after police identified him as the main suspect who set fire to a house in District 8 where the bodies of a woman and two toddlers were later found.

Nhu is now facing murder charge.

Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, smoke and flames reportedly started billowing out of a house on Luu Huu Phuoc Street in District 8. At around the same time, eyewitnesses saw a young man rushing out of the house.

Fire trucks and dozens of firefighters were dispatched to the site, and they put the fire under control after around half an hour, but they could not save the three people inside, a 32-year-old woman and two children aged two and three. One of the kids was the woman's child and the other a relative.

Bruises were reportedly found on the woman’s body. Of the two children, one was her child and the other was a relative.

As police found out, Nhu wore a jacket of a ride-hailing firm to the three-floor house on Tuesday afternoon.

Driving a motorbike, he brought along two bottles of gasoline.

He called the woman on the phone and she let him in. Nhu said he had a romantic relationship with the woman and recently the two had several disagreements.

After entering the house, he attacked her with a knife, poured gasoline on the floor, locked the house from inside, and left.

The flame spread to several motorbikes parked on the house’s first floor and quickly grew stronger.

After setting the fire, Nhu abandoned the motorbike, took off the jacket and picked a motorbike taxi service to get away.

Police are still investigating further.

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