POLICE say a massive fire that engulfed a wreckers’ yard and forced homes to be evacuated was deliberately lit.
Oxley Chief Inspector Phil O’Reilly told The Leader the blaze, which erupted shortly after 1.30pm, was being treated as suspicious.
“This fire was significant and a danger to other properties and people that live in that community,” he said.
“Police are trying to ascertain who lit the fire and we would be appealing for community assistance from anyone who was in the area at the time the fire broke out.”
Two people who tried to defend their properties were treated for smoke inhalation.
The blaze took off in the hot and dry conditions and took about half-an-hour to extinguish after exploding tyres, fuel and long grass fanned flames.
“We believe it started near the back of the houses in Sue Crescent,” he said.
“We’re appealing for anyone who might have seen anyone in that grassed area, or any suspicious activity to contact Tamworth police.”