The police and the prosecution gave the press an overview of the incident yesterday. A criminal investigation is underway based on serious physical harm caused out of negligence.
It remains unclear what transpired in the refugee family's apartment on Tuesday. The woman has suffered very serious burns and is in critical condition, which is why it is impossible for her to give statements.
“She cannot tell us what happened to her because she is unconscious, in critical condition at the hospital. She suffered her injuries at home in the presence of her 19-year-old husband and their 2,5-year-old child,” said senior prosecutor of the Northern District Prosecutor's Office Saskia Kask.
The police and the prosecution said they are looking into three versions of events none of which is held to be more likely than the others at this point.
“First, it's possible there was an accident. Next we have the possibility of attempted suicide. Thirdly, we could be dealing with a crime,” Kask said. “However, I will say again that all three options are on the table as equal possibilities, and the police are working hard to determine what really happened.”
The woman called her own ambulance in English. “The reason for that is probably that her husband's English is very poor, and naturally he does not speak Estonian,” said head of the serious crimes unit of the Northern Police Prefecture Roger Kumm.
There are no signs to suggest the woman had tried to take her own life in the past. The police said the family regularly kept in touch with their support person in Estonia.
Authorities also cannot rule out a crime was committed in which case it could only have been perpetrated by the husband who was next to his spouse trying to put out the fire with water when help arrived. The 19-year-old Syrian was detained for 48 hours on Tuesday after he gave partly conflicting and improbable statements. The man was in shock and can only communicate via an interpreter.
“His statements are being verified, and we cannot reveal what he said,” the prosecutor said.
The couple's child has been placed in the care of specialists.
The scene has been investigated thoroughly, while test results are still outstanding. It remains unclear whether a flammable agent was used in case the fire was purposefully set.
The possibility of an accident is supported by the fact the incident took place next to a gas stove in the kitchen. The woman was wearing flammable clothing.