A 24-year-old French tourist is in preventive custody after allegedly admitting he set fire to his room at Faro’s youth hostel (Pousada de Juventude) on Friday night (October 2).
The fire destroyed the room and led to the temporary closure of the building until it is repaired.
No one was hurt in the incident but 23 people had to be relocated to hostels in Faro and Tavira.
Initial reports pointed to the fire being as a result of a “cooking accident” but then the story began to change.
A PSP police source told Correio da Manhã that the young man “could not justify what he had done” and was “speaking and behaving incoherently”.
He is now suspected of having started the fire on purpose with a lighter he was using to light the cooker.
He was also found to be in possession of a knife and a spike, or pointed object.
Firefighters were called to the scene at around 10.30pm and put the fire out quickly.
“A dozen people” including guests and employees had to be evacuated, but the fire did not spread to the rest of the building.
PJ police are now investigating while the suspect is kept under arrest.
Said Luís Romão, president of the Institute of Youth and Employment (IPDJ) in the Algarve, the hostel should be reopened soon.
He told the Resident that insurance companies were evaluating damage and only after they have finished can repairs begin.