YOKOHAMA – A suspected arsonist appears to have used an adjacent storage shed to enter a historic residence in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, that was heavily damaged by a weekend fire, police said Sunday.
The two-story wooden house was designed and used as a residence by the late U.S. architect Jay H. Morgan.
Prefectural police investigators found that a window of the shed had been broken from the outside. The shed leads directly to the residence’s living room.
The investigators suspect the arsonist started the early Saturday fire in the living room because it was the most heavily damaged room in the 280-sq.-meter house.
The police also found a living room window that is usually locked had been opened from the inside. They suspect the arsonist fled through the living room window after setting the fire.
Morgan, who came to Japan in 1920 to help design the now-demolished former Marunouchi Building near Tokyo Station and other buildings, remained in Japan until he died in 1937 at age 63.
In 1931, he built the chic Western-style Fujisawa residence known for its orange roof tiles as his home. The shed was added to the residence around 1967.
No one was injured in the fire, which burned more than two-thirds of the residence’s total floor space.
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