Published February 16, 2013
SANTIAGO, Chile – Chilean police say they have arrested a man responsible for the worst forest fire in decades in the hills above the port of Valparaiso.
The 27-year-old mason confessed early Saturday to accidentally igniting the blaze with a welder's torch. Police did not release the suspect's name.
The fire destroyed more than 100 homes and forced the evacuation of more than 1,200 people on Thursday. At least 27 people were injured, including five children.
Strong, changing winds and hot, dry weather at the height of the Southern Hemisphere's summer holiday season stoked the fire.
President Sebastian Pinera cut his vacation short to visit the victims Friday at shelters. He vowed to rebuild the area and give everyone new homes.