On the night of Monday, there was suddenly a pungent smell of fire in the air in Vienna-Lepoldstadt, and seven cars parked in a row were on fire. What is particularly explosive about the series of fires that apparently caused a targeted attack by a fire devil: the cars were all civilian vehicles belonging to officials, as police spokesman Daniel Fürst confirmed. According to him, some of the cars were completely destroyed.
The fire happened in front of the central office for combating human trafficking and people smuggling, the Joint Operational Office (JOO) in Kleine Stadtgutgasse, which belongs to the Federal Criminal Police Office.
It is being investigated on suspicion of arson. The fire department of the police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LVT) are investigating. Specifically, there are six investigations into suspected arson and one investigation into suspected damage to property. Authorities are actively looking for clues and witnesses. The crime scene is cordoned off, the vehicles and their surroundings are filmed and 3D models are created from them.
In the course of the investigation, traces of fire accelerants and textiles were found on the vehicles. Apparently, a suspected arsonist placed material soaked with fire accelerant on the front tires and set it on fire.
Extinguishing the fire was a complex and dangerous undertaking: the Vienna fire brigade was on site with 3 vehicles and 15 men to get the flames under control. A firefighter was injured while putting out the fire.
Interior Minister Gerhard Karner was shocked and angry: “I condemn the arson attack last night in the strongest possible terms. It was not only a sneak attack on the police, but above all a danger for the local residents. The investigation into the suspects is in full swing,” Karner.