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CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier was questioned by police who suspect he was involved in an early-morning fire Saturday at an off-post beauty shop near Camp Hovey in Dongducheon.

Pvt. Dustin T. Roper, 20, of 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry’s headquarters company, was found in an alley after firefighters responded to a fire at the Royal beauty shop at 3:55 a.m. Saturday.

Roper remained silent during questioning, a Yangju police spokesman said.

Police took Roper’s clothes and sent them to a crime lab, where they will compare them to fibers from a couch where they believe the fire started.

Police said a nearby convenience store’s video camera shows a man matching Roper’s description breaking flowerpots outside the beauty shop. However, the camera did not capture the fire being set.

The fire was extinguished in six minutes, police said, but the shop was heavily damaged. The shop’s drawers were open and an obscenity was scrawled on a mirror in red lipstick in English.

The beauty shop owner, Lee Ssang-ok, 51, lives on the second floor of the building and was taken to Virgin Mary Hospital in Dongducheon for smoke inhalation treatment.

Her son, Choi Kang-sung, 31, says Lee is recovering from liver surgery and the death of her husband. They first heard a window shatter Saturday morning, then the sounds of the crackling fire.

“Her shock at that time was beyond description,” Choi said during a phone interview Monday. “My mom and I even saw the soldier standing nearby watching the fire. Her trauma is more serious than the bodily injuries.”

Second ID officials confirmed that one of their soldiers is under investigation, but declined to comment on any details because of the ongoing probe.

“We are fully cooperating and continue to do whatever we can to assist the Korean police to determine the cause of the fire,” spokeswoman Maj. Kimeisha McCullum said.

South Korean police were told that Roper was scheduled to leave the country this week, but has been placed on international hold pending the investigation.

Roper did not respond to a Stars and Stripes query e-mailed Monday.

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