BLAZES SPARK FIRE­BUG FEAR

PO­LICE IN­VES­TI­GATE SEVEN FIRES STARTED AROUND ST MARYS AND MT DRUITT

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Alison Bald­ing

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS fear a fire­bug could be be­hind a spate of de­lib­er­ately lit fires in iso­lated ar­eas in St Marys and Mt Druitt sub­urbs.

St Marys po­lice say they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing four sep­a­rate fires lit in prox­im­ity of each other on Novem­ber 27 - the day Fire and Res­cue NSW de­clared a com­plete fire ban as tem­per­a­tures soared above 40C.

Crime man­ager De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Barry Vin­cent said his team was also in­ves­ti­gat­ing three other sus­pi­cious fires lit on Oc­to­ber 16 in the same area.

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a spate of de­lib­er­ately lit fires at St Marys and Mt Druitt, with fears that a sin­gle fire­bug could be to blame.

Alarm­ingly, four sep­a­rate fires are be­lieved to have been de­lib­er­ately lit on Novem­ber 27, which was the first day Fire and Res­cue NSW de­clared a com­plete fire ban as tem­per­a­tures soared above 40C.

A Face­book post pub- lished by Dun­heved fire sta­tion on the day high­lighted the is­sue.

“Re­cently, the bush and grass ar­eas adjacent to the rail­way lines be­tween For­rester Rd and Werrington Rd have been lit up by a lo­cal fire­bug,” the post said.

“The po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing in the hope of putting a stop to this per­son’s po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous habit.”

While Fire and Res­cue NSW Metro West One Zone Com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Alex Scott was re­luc­tant to de­clare a fire­bug was on the loose, he said there was a history of fires lit de­lib­er­ately at Wha­lan Re­serve.

The re­serve is on the other side of For­rester Rd to the re­cent at­tacks and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by chil­dren but re­cently the more iso­lated area near Werrington Rd and the rail­way had been tar­geted.

“I don’t know if there is enough ev­i­dence at this stage for us to be able to say there is … a fire­bug in this case,” Supt Scott said.

He said the ar­son at­tacks were more fre­quent in the weeks prior to the Face­book post and, the re­mote lo­ca­tion of the area tar­geted, could in­di­cate it isn’t just fires be­ing lit by curious or bored chil­dren.

A sec­ond post pub­lished on the Dun­heved Fire Sta­tion page on the same day also pointed to two ad­di­tional fires, in Tregear Re­serve and around the cor­ner at Boro­nia Park.

St Marys crime man­ager De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Barry Vin­cent said po­lice were aware of the Novem­ber 27 at­tacks and were also in­ves­ti­gat­ing three fires de­lib­er­ately lit on Oc­to­ber 16.

Two of the fires were lit close to the rail­way line at The Kingsway and forced the clo­sure of Werrington Rd as mul­ti­ple fire crews re­sponded.

Det Insp Vin­cent said strike force Toronto was in­ves­ti­gat­ing se­ri­ous ar­son at­tacks and urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion to call Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

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