There was a lot of noise in the Vanhullestraat in the center of Torhout on Friday evening. A woman set fire to a resident’s front door and mailbox around 5.30 p.m. and then fled. The police quickly arrived on the scene and after a search were able to arrest the woman. Fifteen minutes later, another resident was dragged from his bicycle in the street, but it is unclear whether the facts are related.
Today at 10:24
The facts in the Vanhullestraat, a narrow side street of the Zwevezelestraat, happened at 5.30 pm. In the terraced house a man lives alone with his two dogs. Residents saw how the man had a discussion with a woman in the street and then drove off with his bicycle. Immediately afterwards they saw how the woman was fiddling at the front door and how suddenly large flames could be seen at the front door. The woman is said to have had a plastic bag that may have contained a fire accelerator.
Arrest for arson
The residents informed both the fire brigade and the police, but the former did not have to come to the scene. Residents living above the house in question quickly went downstairs and were able to extinguish the flames. Both the front door and the letterbox show fire damage. The police were also quickly on the spot and received a description of the woman from the local residents. She turned out to have fled after the facts in the Zwevezelestraat. (Read more below the photo)
“We did indeed receive a report of a woman who tried to set fire to a front door,” says police chief Kris Depover of zone Kouter. “We were then able to arrest a woman on suspicion of arson. The investigation and interrogations are ongoing. It is the prosecutor’s office that has to decide what to do with the woman.” Local residents are impressed by the facts, but are not surprised. “It’s been a mess here for a while,” they say. “The resident in question was beaten by that woman last week. We suspect that they used to be in a relationship, but something went wrong.”
Man dragged off bicycle
According to the residents, it has been running out of scuppers in Vanhullestraat for months. The police are said to have intervened several times for quarrels, fights, vandalism and according to the residents, people were seen walking on roofs at night.
Strangely enough, fifteen minutes after the arson, a second report came in from Vanhullestraat. A local resident called the police because he was violently dragged from his bicycle nearby by an arguing and beating couple. It would be a different couple and it is not clear whether there is a connection.