Editorial: Deliberate fires turn suburbs into danger zones

FIREBUGS are turning residential neighbourhoods into danger zones. 

After a string of deliberately-lit fires in West Tamworth, police are sending in back-up – and for good reason.

One local resident describes the moment she woke to a popping noise, only to see a fire tear through a nearby home, as the worst crime she’s seen in Coledale in her 25 years living there. 

It comes as four house fires were reported in the area in just 24 hours.

At least three of those are believed to have been deliberately-lit. 

The first of four fires broke out at a Kenny Drive home about 3am on Monday morning.

Officials said the vacant home was "boarded up” with damage to the back room of the house where the fire was believed to have started.

Hours later, at 2pm, they were called to a house fire on Cole Road where it is understood a mattress was alight.

About 3am on Tuesday, crews were called to a Bourne Street house where the front of a vacant home was engulfed in flames.

At 9am they were called to another fire at Sussex St where they attended to a fire lit at the back of another vacant home.

Three of the houses involved are government-owned, and all four were vacant at the time of the fires.  

Had people been home, the story could have had a different ending. Had our emergency services not been so prompt in responding, it could have affected other homes.

Police confirmed they’d deploy extra resources to the suburb in the wake of the fires. While it’s a sad reality that it’s had come to that, our emergency services and frontline workers should be applauded for striking while the iron is hot. 

Setting fire to anything – let alone someone’s home – is senseless, selfish, stupid and dangerous. 

Everyone should be afforded the right to feel safe, especially in the comfort of their own home. Sadly, recklessness like this is robbing too many people of that. 

Extra resources to fight and clean up crimes like these cost money and time that could otherwise be spent in far more effective ways. 

To any would-be firebugs out there, stop.

It’s not fair on the victims or those who are left to clean up the pieces. Our emergency services are there to help us. The least you can do is let common sense prevail. 

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