Car set on fire in area of Victoria seeing series of suspicious fires

Car set on fire in area of Victoria seeing series of suspicious fires
Victoria Firefighters IAFF Local 730/Facebook

A high-end car caught fire on the dealership lot in Victoria Tuesday night in an area that has experienced a string of suspicious fires.

Victoria Firefighters IAFF Local 730 shared a video of crews working to put out a car fire at a Mercedes dealership late Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, the burnt-out Benz sits behind caution tape almost fully melted.

In a post on Instagram, the Victoria Firefighters union said the fire was under control in four minutes.

“Quickly deploying the bumper line and flowing foam, it took 4 mins for firefighters to control the stubborn, magnesium rich fire,” the post says. “The compressed gas cylinders for all the airbags and struts could be heard exploding upon arrival and during the battle as they were exposed to the heat. Only the car beside it suffered heat damage.”

CHEK News asked Victoria Police for information about the fire, but the police force has yet to respond.

This fire comes within a month where three confirmed suspicious fires have taken place within a five-block radius.

Rob Stephen operates a vintage electronic refurbishment store steps away from the suspicious fires which has him on high alert.

“I can’t believe it’s happening so often and so close to my business,” said Stephen.

“I don’t really have enough insurance. There’s a lot of valuable things that we couldn’t replace here because there’s a lot of vintage items that you can’t replace.”

The first in the string of suspicious fires was at Ricky’s restaurant on June 16.

“It was 10-foot flames going out the front windows and heard glass shattering everywhere,” said Megan Simpson who witnessed the fire break out.

Seven days later, on June 23, just steps away from Ricky’s, another fire was deliberately set at a car rental agency. A week and a half after that on July 2 a heritage home, also just metres away, was also deliberately lit up.

“As these fires continue, these fires are getting closer and closer to residential buildings,” said Victoria Police spokesperson Bowen Osoko to CHEK News on July 4.

Victoria Police promised to increase night patrols, going so far as to ask anyone who sees suspicious behaviour in the Burnside area at night to treat it as a crime in action and call 911.

The fire department are asking for business owners to report if they have information or video footage that might help get answers about these recent fires.

“Although these incidents may not be linked, we are asking the residents and businesses in these areas to be diligent and report if they have information or camera footage in around the times of any of these recent fires,” the Instagram post says.

This most recent fire for business owners on the block, they fear is evidence of a month-long arson campaign, gone unanswered for.

“I just hope they catch the person or people who are doing the arsons,” said Stephen.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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