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Suspicious man caught on camera near scene of Shinjuku fire

Police investigators and firefighters conduct an inspection at the scene of a fire that destroyed four structures in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on April 13, 2016. (Mainichi)

A security camera captured a suspicious man going into a building believed to be the source of a fire that occurred in the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward shortly before the blaze started on April 12, investigative sources said.

    Local police suspect arson in the fire that razed four structures housing bars and other establishments in the Shinjuku Golden Gai area. They inspected the scene with the Tokyo Fire Department in an effort to determine the cause of the blaze, which broke out at around 1:20 p.m. on April 12.

    Police and firefighters suspect that the fire started in a two-story wooden structure that was built in 1949, as at least one eyewitness reported having seen flames shoot up from the second floor. The fire destroyed the structure and three others with a total floor space of about 300 square meters. A woman who operates a restaurant nearby suffered smoke inhalation.

    A bar on the first floor of the building had not yet opened when the fire broke out. An interior designer had been preparing to renovate an empty store on the second floor until 50 minutes before the blaze occurred.

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