This house in MacKinlay Street was set on fire in June last year.
This house in MacKinlay Street was set on fire in June last year. File

Street hit by suspected arsonists

WHEN Geoff Palmer looks out his front door he is surrounded by charcoal ruins.

To his right is a burnt-out two-storey home and across the street is a scorched unit.

Both these MacKinlay Street fires have been the work of suspected arsonists – the most recent on Saturday.

At 1.50am Mr Palmer’s wife Beverley raised the fire alarm when she heard “loud sparks snapping” outside her window.

“It sounded electric and I was quite scared to look out the window – it was loud enough to wake the neighbourhood,” she said yesterday.

A fire had been started in each of the three bedrooms of a vacant unit.

The fire in the front room blazed out of control within minutes causing power lines to fall around it.

Fire and Rescue crews managed to quickly extinguish the fire but not before it caused significant cosmetic and structural damage to the residence.

Mrs Palmer said it was luck that the person who had occupied the adjoining unit had moved out on Friday.

She said the unit, which the fire had started in, had been vacant for some time.

Mr and Mrs Palmer fear the work of arsonists had tarnished the image of the once beautiful North Rockhampton street, which they were the first to build their house in 27 years ago.

“A detective told me it was definitely deliberate. I’m worried these days. It could have been my house. We feel jinxed.”

On June 10 the house on their left went up in flames at about 11pm.

Two juveniles, a boy, 13 and a girl, 15, were charged with starting the fire in the lounge room of the home.

There were four people inside the home at the time, who escaped without injury.

The two children were dealt with in court under the Juvenile Justice Act. Police are still investigating Saturday’s fire and scientific officers have examined the scene.

It is being treated as suspicious, but no one has been charged.



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