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Police hunt serial arsonist

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10 Jan 2013
Police are probing a series of suspicious fires lit in Melbourne’s North-West this week.

Detectives are investigating at least six suspicious blazes started in the Maribyrnong River Valley region since Tuesday.

In the most recent attack, MFB crews attended the Sunshine North Industrial Estate just before 1am today where they encountered several fires involving cars and tyres in a storage yard.

The incident quickly escalated and developed into a larger fire, and extra resources were sent. In total ten appliances and 35 firefighters attended the scene.

Police believe arsonists set fire to three separate areas in the factory estate after gaining entry to the construction yard in Balfour Avenue, where they set fire to two stacks of lumber.

A second fire was started a short time later at a grass embankment in a nearby railway corridor, destroying around two hectares of grassland along the train line.

Police are also investigating a third fire which engulfed two cars which had been parked on Knight Avenue.
Both cars were destroyed in the blaze.

Brimbank Crime Investitgation Unit detectives are also investigating two other fires in Brimbank Park and Orbital Drive Kealba between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Moonee Valley Crime Investigation Unit is investigating another grass fire at the Maribyrnong Valley Parklands near Hawthorn Court in Keilor East yesterday.

At this stage, it’s believed the fires may be linked and detectives are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area to contact police.

MFB Deputy Chief Officer David Youssef warned arson can destroy homes and kill people.

“Deliberate fires cost the Victorian community thousands of dollars each year and can have devastating consequences,” he said.

“Arson can destroy homes and kill people.

“It also adds to the incidents that emergency services need to respond to and puts emergency service personnel at risk of injury.”

Mr Youssef said Melbourne residents should not be complacent.

“It doesn’t matter where it is in Victoria, any unplanned fire can have a major impact,” he said.

“Grass fires are extremely dangerous and can take lives and destroy homes in a very short time.

“With park land and large areas of grassland there is a real risk of fires in the open in the metropolitan area of Melbourne.”

Police are asking that residents and visitors in the Brimbank Park and surrounding areas be vigilant inform police of any suspicious activity immediately.

Anyone with any information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

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