Because it’s not clear who lit the candle
Young people acquitted after a big fire in Egnach TG
Huge inferno: The fire burned brightly at Tobi Seeobst AG in Egnach TG. Three youths had acted negligently and left a candle on. Because of the weak evidence, the Thurgau Supreme Court had to acquit her.
The fruit hall of “Tobi Seeobst AG” went up in flames in 2018.
The major night-time fire on the Tobi Seeobst AG premises in Egnach on March 16, 2018 caused damage running into millions. Warehouses and over 1000 tons of apples and vegetables were completely destroyed. 150 firefighters were deployed to put out the fire.
After extensive investigations, the youth prosecutor’s office opened a criminal investigation against four young people from the Egnach area. They are said to have caused the fire by improper handling of fire.
In 2019 there was a trial. The proceedings against one of the young people were dropped because no involvement could be proven. The public prosecutor’s office issued a penalty order against the other three three years ago. They lodged an objection with the Arbon district court.
Three youths found guilty – they appealed
The court sentenced her to personal work for the benefit of the community for negligently causing a conflagration. The district court in Arbon found that the burning candles were the cause of the fire, as the statement goes on to say. All three young people acted together and are therefore jointly responsible for ensuring that the candles were not extinguished when they left the stack of pallets – all three are guilty.
The defendants were not satisfied with this. They appealed and went to the Supreme Court. And they acquitted them in May 2022, as has now become known.
A youth admitted to having lit one of the two candles. However, it has not been proven that this candle actually caused the big fire. It could also have been a candle from the other youths.
Which candle started the fire?
Even if he had extinguished “his” candle, the second (still burning) candle could have started the fire with the same probability, the Supreme Court concluded. So which one was it?
It was not possible to clarify who of the young people lit the second candle. It can therefore be assumed in favor of the other two that they did not light any of the candles themselves.
The statements of the young people also showed that the failure to extinguish the candles was not preceded by a joint decision. As a result, the three are not punishable. (jwg/SDA)