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Resource ID: #14606
Subject: Arson
Source: NBC News Dateline
Date: 1997-05-16



On January 5, 1995, the worst disaster in Seattle Fire Department history killed 4 firefighters. A 10-month Dateline investigation revealed strong evidence that the tragedy might have been avoided. Authorities were tipped to an arson threat and staked out the target building. When the warehouse didn't burn, the surveillance was pulled. Three weeks later the fire was set. The sole suspect, Martin Pang, fled to Brazil. Dateline followed him to South America with the help of a second informant. Pang was extradited back to the U.S., but the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled he could only face arson charges. Families and fellow firefighters of the dead men were outrage, and a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice admitted they may have made a mistake. Seattle prosecutors filed murder charges anyway, and the battle over whether he could be tried for murder moved to the U.S. courts.

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