Public housing services are operating inside a new building following an alleged arson attack inside the Geraldton Housing Office on Marine Terrace last week. Anthony John Kruger, 51, is accused of walking into the Department of Communities’ building on Thursday, August 3, about 2pm with a jerry can of fuel, which he splashed on the front counter and set alight. This week, Geraldton police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Chris Martin said he was glad to see everyone out of the building safely and praised Communities staff for their “very quick thinking” during the emergency. “It’s a pretty old building that got engulfed in flames pretty quickly,” he said. Sen. Sgt Martin said services had returned and operations were back to normal following the blaze. He confirmed the Housing Department has relocated to the Adult Community Corrections building at 45 Cathedral Avenue, located on the corner of Cathedral and Lester Ave. “A thank-you from me to all the staff at Department of Communities for their understanding during this difficult time, having moved from the building to another one,” he said. “That will be quite unsettling for a lot of them, given that they’ve been there for a long time and the community regularly use that facility to raise housing complaints and so on, so there will get slight adjustment to that service. “I’m sure that the team down there will make every effort to help the community.” A Department of Communities spokesperson confirmed housing staff in Geraldton were relocated and services and assistance remain available for community members. The spokesperson said individuals requiring housing assistance in Geraldton can also contact the office on 6414 3320. The fire, lit on the ground floor, spread throughout the historic 138-year-old building, causing an estimated $400,000 damage bill. Staff inside the building and surrounding businesses quickly evacuated and watched as black smoke billowed from the building and windows exploded. Mr Kruger appeared in court last Friday and did not apply for bail. He was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned until September 7.