Police say 'bizarre' fire caused by short circuit

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Ho Chi Minh City police say a short circuit caused the May 12 fire in a house in Tan Binh District where the family claims a girl has a bizarre ability to set things on fire.

The father, only identified as V., has since last week gone to different media agencies saying that he needs scientific help to study and cure his daughter's bizarre ability to set things on fire just by being near them, not evening having to focus on or touch them.

He told the media that the recent fire on May 12 was also caused by the 11-year-old, although the police had earlier found the actual cause was electrical leakage.

"The family told local authorities not to share any information with the press," Lieutenant Colonel Pham Cong Nghia from the city Fire Fighting Department told Phap Luat Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC Laws) in recent report.

Nghia said that some officials from his department and local authorities had gone to the house one day after the accident on May 13, after hearing information in several media agencies that the family's daughter, identified only as T.,  had caused the fire.

Despite having reached the conclusion that a short circuit had caused the fire, the officials were concerned about the girl following the family's announcements. "But we were not able to have direct contact with the girl."

Nghia said the family did not directly tell the firefighting police about their suspicion that the fire might have been caused by their daughter.

The father told local media the girl had just come down from the second floor when the furniture caught fire and they had to call the fire department.

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But Nghia said there had been no phone calls from the family and that it was the neighbors who had called.

The family has approached the Geobiological Dowsing Research Center at the Hong Bang private university in the city. The center has promised to send an expert to closely follow the girl and record any abnormal occurrences.

Officials at the center suspect some energy from the girl caused the fire.

There was a small fire in the family's wardrobe when the center experts visited on May 18, but there was no conclusive evidence it happened without any foul play.

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