November 22nd, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) Officials are reporting that unknown suspects used gasoline and newspaper to ignite the second floor of Ecuador’s embassy in Rorhmoser, Pavas, in San Jose.
The fire was reported yesterday at 5:00am. The embassy was unoccupied at the time, though the fire department said they arrived to find the building’s doors opened.
Hector Chaves, director of the fire department, said that a total of 220 square meters of the building were destroyed.
According to the firemen, four ignition points of the fire were found, as well as locations that showed the presence of gasoline.
Firemen also report finding wads of newspaper underneath various wooden door, which had a strong smell of gasoline.
It took firemen approximately 20 minutes to get the blaze under control.
Authorities said yesterday they do not know how many suspects may have been involved, or how they were able to enter the embassy building undetected.
Jean Carlo Hwu, a neighbor who lives in front of the embassy, said that he noticed the fire when the smell of smoke woke him from his sleep.
Randall Picado, a Fuerza Publica officer, said that at the time of the fire there were no guards present at the building.
Picado said security guards are normally only present at the embassy between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.
The embassy is closed to the public for an indefinite period of time.
Ecuador’s ambassador, Daisy Fuentes, who returned from Ecuador yesterday, said she would be discussing with staff when services at the embassy could be restored.
Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) agents arrived at the scene to collect evidence.
According to information from the fire department, 11% of the 974 structural fires registered in the country so far in 2012 were the result of arson.