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Geraldton detectives investigate fire in Utakarra after arson squad determine it was deliberately lit

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Police believe an arsonist started a house fire in Utakarra.
Camera IconPolice believe an arsonist started a house fire in Utakarra. Credit: WA Police

Geraldton detectives have issued a public appeal for help after the Perth arson squad concluded a Utakarra house fire last week was deliberately lit.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services was called to the blaze on Clematis Crescent and requested police assistance about 9.40pm on Friday.

A DFES spokesperson said a call was received just before 9.30pm when a member of the public reported a fire in the front room of the address.

Roof damage on Clematis Crescent, Utakarra.
Camera IconRoof damage on Clematis Crescent, Utakarra. Credit: WA Police

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“We sent four crews — two crews from Geraldton Fire and Rescue Service and two crews from Geraldton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service. The first crew arrived in five minutes and was able to bring the fire under control in 20 minutes,” they said.

The fire was extinguished by 10.15pm. but not before damaging the front loungeroom and rear bedroom. It also left smoke damage throughout the house.

“A search inside the property found there was no one in the building,” the DFES spokesperson said.

Inside the destroyed home detectives say was set alight.
Camera IconInside the destroyed home detectives say was set alight. Credit: WA Police

Geraldton detectives officer in charge Det-Sen. Sgt Bruce McDonald said the total estimated damage to the home was $50,000.

“The occupants of the house returned to the premises as the fire was being extinguished and assisted police with inquiries,” he said.

He said arson squad detectives travelled from Perth and determined the fire was started deliberately.

“Geraldton detectives are conducting further investigative actions into the matter and ask that anyone with any information which may assist with the investigation to contact Geraldton detectives or Crime Stoppers (on 1800 333 000),” he said.

People who provide information leading to the conviction of an offender are eligible for a $25,000 reward.

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