Man escapes fire at Heat­ley

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT

PO­LICE have ruled a fire that de­stroyed a house in Heat­ley late on Sun­day night was ac­ci­den­tal de­spite a man squat­ting in the build­ing claim­ing it may have been sparked by a group of peo­ple.

Three fire­fight­ing crews, po­lice, am­bu­lance and Er­gon were called to the Hay­don Cres home at Heat­ley about 11.40pm.

Dis­trict duty of­fi­cer Se­nior Sergeant Joe Mathe­son said a man at the scene told po­lice he had been “half asleep” when he saw the glow of the fire.

“The oc­cu­pant has told po­lice some per­sons have at­tended the ad­dress and been asked to leave,” Sen- Sgt Mathe­son said.

“A short time later the res­i­dent lo­cated a fire within the dwelling.”

Po­lice and fire­fight­ers were on the scene through­out Mon­day and no longer con­sider the fire sus­pi­cious.

De­tec­tive Se­nior Con­sta­ble Belinda West, from Kir­wan Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch, said po­lice had been un­able to de­ter­mine the va­lid­ity of the man’s story.

“What we do know is that per­son was squat­ting at the ad­dress,” Sen- Con­sta­ble West said.

“Po­lice are treat­ing it as ac­ci­den­tal – cause un­de­ter­mined.”

Neigh­bour Sam Han said he was asleep and woke up to the man at his front door.

“My neigh­bour had no phone, I gave him a phone to call po­lice,” Mr Han said.

An­other neigh­bour Ken Walker said the fire was fright­en­ing for the quiet street.

“There was a big flare up in the sky,” Mr Walker said. “Ob­vi­ously it will have to be pulled down – no one can live there.”

Pic­ture: ZAK SIMMONDS

AC­CI­DEN­TAL FIRE: An in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the Hay­don Cres, Heat­ley, house that caught fire on Sun­day. Neigh­bours say the house ( in­set) is un­safe to live in now.

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