The fire broke out around 3 a.m. at a two-story motel in the Jongno district, according to fire officials. Five people at the motel died, and four were taken to a nearby hospital. Among the injured, two were reportedly in severe condition.
The fire was first reported to the police by a 53-year-old man who claimed to have set it ablaze himself. The person, who works as a delivery man at a nearby restaurant, was arrested on-site. Police said the suspect was inebriated when arrested.
Investigators found out that the suspect purchased 10 liters of gas at a nearby gas station. According to statements by witnesses, the man is believed to have carried out the attack in a fit of rage after he was denied use of the motel for being heavily drunk.