JILTED LOVER HUNT

UTE, HOME GO UP IN SMOKE

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - EMILY HAL­LO­RAN AND CHRIS MCMA­HON

A MES­SAGE scrawled on the back of a home com­pletely gut­ted by fire is a key clue for in­ves­ti­ga­tors look­ing into a sus­pected ar­son.

Plumes of black smoke filled the air in Ash­more, as a Be­lah St prop­erty went up in flames in the early hours of yes­ter­day.

A man rent­ing the home, a 46-year-old Ash­more lo­cal, has spo­ken with de­tec­tives about that mes­sage, “This is for f---ing my wife,” with po­lice sources say­ing they could be look­ing for a jilted lover.

Early in­ves­ti­ga­tions sug­gest the of­fender broke into a ute parked in a car­port at the prop­erty some­time be­fore 8am.

They then re­versed it into the side of the home and set the car on fire. The blaze quickly spread through­out the build­ing, leav­ing only charred re­mains.

Po­lice are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether a boat, a moped and a trailer were stolen from the home in the lead up to the fire be­ing ig­nited.

Wit­nesses told the Bul­letin they heard ex­plo­sions be­fore rush­ing out of their homes to see the home well alight.

Nearby res­i­dent Phil Pope was the first on scene and said he saw the ute on fire.

“I went to open the front door to make sure no one was in­side, but I heard an ex­plo­sion and stayed back,” he said.

Bev Gavin who lives be­hind the prop­erty said she was con­cerned the strong winds blow­ing in her di­rec­tion would spread the blaze to her home.

“I saw the fire from my bed­room and called triple-zero. I heard about three ex­plo­sions,” she said.

“I’m very thank­ful. My neigh­bours ran over and turned off my power and moved my car for me.”

Fire­fight­ers rushed to the scene about 8am, with South­port

fire bri­gade sta­tion of­fi­cer Michael Brown say­ing they fought the blaze for 20 min­utes be­fore it was out.

“Over 50 per cent of the home was on fire, and the rest has been dam­aged with smoke,” he said.

“A jet­ski and dual cab ute have been de­stroyed too.”

The home was still a crime scene yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Po­lice In­spec­tor Karen Shaw called on any­one with in­for­ma­tion or CCTV or dash­cam footage to come for­ward.

Po­lice are also ap­peal­ing for any­one who might have seen a ve­hi­cle driv­ing in the area be­tween 7-8am, tow­ing a tin­nie on a boat trailer with QLD reg­is­tra­tion BV4987.

Con­tact Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

OVER 50 PER CENT OF THE HOME WAS ON FIRE ... THE REST SMOKE DAM­AGED STA­TION OF­FI­CER MICHAEL BROWN

Pic­ture: GLENN HAMP­SON

Fire­fight­ers work to ex­tin­guish the blaze after a stolen Mazda CX5 went up in flames on the cor­ner of Gil­ston Rd and New St, Nerang.

Pic­tures: GLENN HAMP­SON

The scene of the fire at an Ash­more prop­erty, where a mes­sage was left scrawled on the wall (right).

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