• Kyodo

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Police arrested a man on arson charges after the bodies of a woman and two toddlers believed to be his wife and children were found at the scene of a fire at a home in Miyagi Prefecture early Tuesday.

The fire started at around 2:30 a.m. in the city of Tome, where local police arrested Yoshiaki Shimaya, a 40-year-old resident of the house, later in the day. The case was sent to prosecutors on Wednesday.

Authorities are still working to identify the bodies believed to be those of his 31-year-old wife Miyu, their 3-year-old daughter Mao and their 1-year-old son Kyosuke.

Police say Shimaya admitted to the charges, saying he set fire to a futon with a lighter in a bedroom on the second floor of the main residence on the property, according to police. A total of nine people lived on the property, including in the main house and an annex. Shimaya’s father, who is in his 70s, was injured by the fire.

Police said an emergency call, apparently from Shimaya’s wife requesting rescue and saying her husband had left the home, was made shortly after the blaze began.

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