- Three properties in Melbourne were set on fire on Saturday night within minutes
- The man allegedly first set fire to Monash University’s Islamic Centre in Clayton
- Police saw the man leaving the scene of the first blaze on CCTV and arrested him
- He was charged with eight offences and will appear in court on Sunday morning
- There have been more than seven suspicious fires in the suburb in recent months
A suspected arsonist was taken into police custody on Saturday night after three ‘suspicious fires’ in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.
The man allegedly set fire to Monash University’s Islamic Centre in Beddoe Avenue, before lighting a second blaze in the garage of a vacant home 100m away.
A car parked in the nearby suburb of Mulgrave was set alight less than ten minutes later, according to 9NEWS, and firemen were forced to fight all three blazes at once.
A firebug started a blaze at Monash University’s Islamic Centre in Melbourne on Saturday night
The arsonist started a second fire in the garage of a vacant home of Beddoe Avenue in Clayton
A third fire was started in a car ten minutes later as firemen attended to the first two blazes
The man who is allegedly responsible was apprehended after police saw him entering the Islamic centre on a CCTV camera.
Police have confirmed that the fire at the Islamic Centre was ‘not religiously motivated’, although they do question how the firebug gained access given that the building is patrolled day and night.
The 42-year-old man was later caught in Wheelers Hill, and charged with eight offences. He will face court on Sunday morning.
Authorities will allege that he lit fires all along Beddoe Avenue, but are still investigating his motives for targeting the area.
Local Fulvia Vazzoler told media that there was a general feeling of unrest in the area, after more than seven properties were targeted this year.
‘It’s just senseless, senseless and stupid,’ another resident told Channel 9.
Vacant homes, constructions sites and properties marked for demolition – all on Beddoe Avenue in Clayton – have been the site of suspicious blazes in recent months.
More than seven suspicious fires have been lit all on Beddoe Avenue in the last few months
Police are baffled as to why the 42-year-old arson suspect has targeted the one specific area