Firebug's reign of terror on Coast: 17 mystery blazes

BREAKING: Police believe a firebug is behind a spate of suspicious fires in the Coolum and Marcoola areas.

Their concerns have been heightened during investigations into unexplained fires in bins, a car, a childcare complex and bushland.

They included someone placing a phone book under a wheel arch of a car parked in Wales Ct in Coolum Beach on October 20 and setting it alight.

Someone also stacked vehicle tyres with cardboard and bamboo in a carpark at the rear of Mt Coolum Day Care Centre and set them alight in the early hours of September 12.

Authorities have listed 17 "unexplained" fires as being under investigation since September 12.

Most of those have been reported in the past three weeks.

Sunshine Coast Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Tim Byrnes said while he couldn't say if the fires were definitely linked, there did seem to be something going on.

"We think there is some sort of firebug in the area up there and we are honing in on a few people," Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Byrnes said.

A fire in a bin at the rear of the Marcoola business is believed to have spread to the building.

It is being treated as a suspected arson.

Det Act Snr Sgt Byrnes said police were reviewing CCTV taken from businesses in the area near the fire.

Coolum Fire Station officer Captain Jason Spink said firefighters got in touch with police about three weeks ago in relation to a worrying trend of fires.

"At this time there is definitely some concern," Captain Spink said.

"There has been an increased number of fires and incidents in the area."

He said investigators were looking into the how the fires were being started and how they were progressing once lit.

Most of them have been reported during the night or in the pre-dawn hours of the morning.

"Without expedient fire service intervention (the fires) had large potential for effects on the community."

He said those effects could have been on property or life.

Captain Spink said the causes of every fire were investigated, recorded and reported.

He said that allowed firefighters to identify concerning trends quite quickly so they could then notify police.

Residents have been asked to be vigilant and report anyone acting suspiciously, particularly at night time.

Det Snr Sgt Byrnes asked that anyone with information on the Marcoola fire or any of the other fires call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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