SENIOR firefighters say there may be a serial arsonist operating in the Gunnedah region after the seventh major house fire in six months.
In the latest incident, an unoccupied housing commission home sustained $200,000 of damage when it went up in flames on Thursday night.
The Wandobah Rd house had been rebuilt after serious damage from a fire 18 months previously.
Gunnedah Station Commander Rob Burns said the home was well alight when firefighters reached the scene and it took two units half an hour to get under control.
He said although the house was vacant, there was clothing and bedding in numerous rooms of the property, showing evidence of recent occupancy.
Captain Burns said he believed the source of the fire was deliberate as the power was turned off in the home.
The blaze joins a number of incidents within the occurring in the Hopedale Av, Herbert St and Wandobah Rd areas, within a radius of a square kilometre.
Captain Burns said he believed the number of incidents and area in which the fires occurred showed a pattern.
Just a month ago, he said the brigade attended a house fire just six doors down from the home destroyed on Thursday.
On September 13, last year a father and five children escaped a fire that seriously damaged their Herbert St home.
Wandobah Rd pensioner Toney Baldwin said to the Namoi Valley Independent in December that he had witnessed four separate attacks on his timber cottage and utility since August 2012.
Mr Baldwin said the attacks were occurring late at night and said the most recent incident in early December left him in fear of his life.
Hearing a loud 'whoosh' outside his home after he had retired for the night, he saw a bright glow outside his bedroom window and investigating, found the side of his house alight.
Fire and Rescue NSW Gunnedah Station Commander Rob Burns said although he couldn't say whether the incidents were linked, he believed a firebug was at work.
"It's just not normal. You might get one or two house fires a year but we've had seven in six months." "We've got a real problem here".
Captain Burns said investigators would be examining the circumstances surrounding the most recent fire closely as police had strong evidence it was deliberately lit.
"There seems to be a habitual firebug targeting vacant homes."
"This person is playing a dangerous game. Next time somebody may be seriously injured or killed."