Man who set Saigon house on fire admits being high on meth

Man who set Saigon house on fire admits being high on meth
A big crowd gathers on Bui Vien Street to watch the incident. Photo by VnExpress

The man who set his house in Ho Chi Minh City's backpacker precinct on fire on Sunday has finally admitted that he used methamphetamine before committing the act.

Nguyen Van Canh, 36, first told the police that he burnt a piece of paper and unintentionally caused the fire.

But police ordered a drug test and the man eventually confessed that he had used the illegal drug. The test confirmed this.

Canh lives with nine people of two different families in the house on Bui Vien Street. He allegedly threatened to set the house on fire before the blaze broke out. He reportedly left the house right after that.

Police have arrested him for further investigation.

The incident on Sunday night prompted many foreign tourists and locals to run away from the street in panic.

Smoke was seen spreading from the house but the nearby houses did not catch fire.

Dozens of police officers with three fire trucks quickly arrived at the scene and put out the fire.

Bui Vien is part of the backpackers' area in the city downtown, which also includes Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham.

The area, almost always crowded on weekend nights, is home to many bars, hotels, hostels, restaurants and travel agents targeting foreign visitors.

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