As concerns continue to grow around a spree of suspicious fires in Victoria, one resident is sharing his story in hopes it drums up new leads or adds pressure to the growing calls for answers.
David, who didn’t want his last name used, is still dealing with the aftermath of a fire that was deliberately set on his front porch two months ago.
“It was the most traumatic thing to ever happen to me in my life,” David said.
He explained it was about 4:18 a.m. on May 15 when the fire broke out at his Kiwanis home.
He had woken up in the night and shortly later heard a concerning sound. When David looked out his front windows, he saw the blaze on his front porch and the damage already happening.
“The windows were already cracking, the roof was on fire,” David explained.
He said his mobility scooter parked outside was engulfed in flames and a jerry can of gas was burnt beside it.
Victoria Police deemed this incident a suspicious fire.
David said the trauma of that morning has had lasting impacts on his life and building, as restoration work is still being done.
He added he just wanted to forget it happened, but after hearing of the recent series of suspicious fires in the nearby Burnside neighbourhood, he felt the need to speak up.
“There is something happening in Victoria and it’s not good,” said David. “I just wanted to bring it forward to maybe bring more pressure or attention put on these fires, that if not this person, then the other people doing the acts would be brought forward.”
Police are currently investigating multiple fires in the Burnside area.
Ricky’s Restaurant was the first to be deliberately set on fire on June 16. 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.
Now, a car set on fire Tuesday, July 11, is being added as the latest suspicious fire in the area.
There is no reason to believe the fire at David’s complex is related to these incidents.
Police haven’t provided an update on the fires in Burnside, but have suggested some could be linked.
“We can’t currently say they are all related to the same suspect or that kind of thing, but that’s something we are definitely still exploring,” Bowen Osoko, with Victoria Police, told CHEK News on Thursday.
No one has been arrested for any of the fires, including the one at David’s complex.
David hopes by sharing his story, more people will come forward with information on any of the fires to stop the spree.
“People around here are fearful that something like this might happen to them,” he added.
Police are asking residents to come forward with any information and report anything that seems suspicious.
With files from Kori Sidaway.