Police have charged an accused trespasser who allegedly lit the seventh reported fire at the derelict Batavia Motor Inne in a year, as the process to demolish the site continues to drag out. On Wednesday, July 12 about 2am, Department of Fire and Emergency Services received a call about a fire at the Batavia Motor Inne on Fitzgerald Street. DFES confirmed crews extinguished a deliberately lit small grass fire on the grounds of an abandoned building about 2.20am. A spokesperson confirmed it was their seventh call-out to put out a fire at the site in the last year. Geraldton police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Chris Martin alleged there were several people burning rubbish inside the site. When police arrived, Sen. Sgt Martin said they found an unattended fire while the accused was asleep on a bed inside the building. A 47-year-old man was arrested and charged with trespass and breach of duty by person in control of ignition source. He was summoned to appear in Geraldton Magistrates Court at a later date. Sen. Sgt Martin reminded the community to contact police if they observed any suspicious behaviour, particularly inside private property. “There is still some signs that some homeless portion of the community are using the Batavia Motor Inne,” he said. “We’re not necessarily going to arrest people for trespassing, that’s not the plan here. The plan is to keep people out of the building because it’s unsafe. “Despite the efforts of the boundary fence and signs, given this time of year homeless people in particular will gravitate towards shelter and one of those is unfortunately the Batavia Motor Inne.” A fire was reported in April, less than a week after gates were locked at the site. In March, DFES crews found a mattress and clothing on fire in an empty unit at the derelict apartments. There were another three reports of fires in two weeks in November. The owners of the site were contacted for comment.