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Volunteer firefighter accused of deliberately lighting bushfires

Teenage volunteer firefighter is charged with arson after he allegedly lit seven blazes before returning to put them out with his crew

  • Teenage firefighting volunteer charged after allegedly lighting seven fires 
  • The 19-year-old allegedly lit a fire on Tuesday afternoon in NSW’s Bega Valley 
  • He was arrested at a fire shed in town of Tarraganda within two hours of the fire 
  • Teenager was charged with causing fire as well as six others since October 17 

A teenage firefighting volunteer has been charged after allegedly lighting seven fires.

The 19-year-old allegedly lit a fire on Tuesday afternoon next to the Bega river in the Bega Valley in south-eastern New South Wales, left the area and then returned to fight the blaze for the NSW Rural Fire Service. 

He was arrested at a fire shed in the town of Tarraganda within two hours of the fire.

A teenage firefighting volunteer has been charged after allegedly lighting seven fires (pictured firefighters battling the Hillville fire south of Port Macquarie on November 13)

The teenager has been charged with causing the fire as well as six others since October 17, and bailed to appear before Bega Local Court on Wednesday.

The RFS said it had immediately stood down the 19-year-old volunteer and had a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to arson.

‘Our members will be rightly angry that the alleged actions of one individual can tarnish the reputation and hard work of so many,’ RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘This type of alleged behaviour is the ultimate betrayal of our own members, and of the broader community.’

In a separate incident a man, 33, has also been charged over a fire-lighting spree which destroyed four cars in the NSW Hunter.

Police arrested the man on Tuesday after the string of fires were allegedly lit in Lake Macquarie suburbs between November 8 and November 19.

The 19-year-old allegedly lit a fire on Tuesday afternoon next to the Bega river in the Bega Valley in south-eastern New South Wales, left the area and then returned to fight the blaze for the NSW Rural Fire Service (pictured a firefighter fighting the Gospers Mountain blaze near Colo Heights)

The 19-year-old allegedly lit a fire on Tuesday afternoon next to the Bega river in the Bega Valley in south-eastern New South Wales, left the area and then returned to fight the blaze for the NSW Rural Fire Service (pictured a firefighter fighting the Gospers Mountain blaze near Colo Heights)

Four cars were destroyed on a single night, police said.

‘Acts of arson at any time of year are extremely dangerous, let alone during the high temperatures we have recently experienced,’ Superintendent Danny Sullivan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The man has been charged with 12 counts of destroying property with fire and has been refused bail to front Belmont Local Court on Wednesday.

Almost 130 bush and grass fires are currently burning around NSW.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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