Fire damages vacant house

Alicia PereraPilbara News
The Withnell Way property that was damaged by fire on Sunday, January 15.
Camera IconThe Withnell Way property that was damaged by fire on Sunday, January 15. Credit: Alicia Perera

Police are investigating a suspicious fire that gutted a Karratha house last Sunday

According to police, the fire allegedly began in a vacant Department of Housing property in Withnell Way, Bulgarra, at about 7:45pm on Sunday, January 15.

They believe the house was being used by “itinerants” and the fire began when a mattress caught alight in the front loungeroom.

Department of Fire and Emergency district officer for the Burrup Luke Mitchinson said the house was “fully involved” when DFES crews and police arrived.

Firefighters managed to contain it after about 45 minutes and stop it spreading to surrounding properties, including two units adjoining either side of the house.

The property was gutted by the blaze and Mr Mitchinson said the estimated cost of damage was $300,000.

The fire is being treated as suspicious and West Pilbara Detectives are investigating.

Mr Mitchinson asked residents to report people staying in vacant properties to authorities to avoid associated safety risks.

“A lot of these houses are the older ones around town, and there’s the ongoing issue of asbestos and demolition to the surrounding neighbours,” he said.

“We rely purely on neighbours alerting us to the fact. Because these are unoccupied properties, a lot of them don’t have smoke alarms and the like. So we rely on the neighbours to ring triple zero.”

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