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20 May, 2008 05:02

Self-reflection prompts ex-firefighter to set the world on fire

Around 37,000 acres of forest are on fire in Russia’s Eastern region of Buryatia. Local police have arrested Eduard Durnenkov, a suspected pyromaniac, who was allegedly caught with matches near one outbreak.

Police claim Durnenkov used to volunteer at a firefighting club, while a schoolboy.

Durnenkov claims he tried to extinguish the fire, resulting in his clothes being burnt.

“While climbing on to a hill I noticed a pack of leaves, in which I saw my own reflection. I decided to burn it. That’s why the fire started,” Durnenkov explained.

Police say Durnenkov has confessed to starting two fires, but his overall crime record is suspected to be higher as the pattern of wildfires resembles his path home.

While alleged pyromaniac Durnenkov attempts to pass a psychological test, more than a thousand firefighters are attempting to save the forests.

There have been 800 wildfires in Byryatia, consuming 118 acres of forest – 4.5 more than last year.