Gympie police forensics officer John Kane and detective David Britton investigate a burnt-out car with the vehicle's owner at Barter St Complex.
Gympie police forensics officer John Kane and detective David Britton investigate a burnt-out car with the vehicle's owner at Barter St Complex. Renee Pilcher

Businesses saved from car blaze

POLICE are searching for the arsonist(s) who set fire to a car parked in a Gympie business complex yesterday morning.

A Barter St household was woken by explosions about 3.30am to see flames and smoke across the road.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that the car was burnt by potential thieves after they failed to start the Subaru Forester.

The owner had left it outside her business premises when it wouldn't start because of a flat battery.

Investigations led officers to believe the car was rolled from its parking spot before being set alight. It was so close to a commercial shed that the flames popped a glass window.

The fire was moments from spreading into the premises, used as office space - just as Gympie Fire and Rescue crew arrived and put it out. Firefighters protected the building by pushing away the car and extinguished the fire.

They then ventilated and checked the building to rule out any risk of fire starting elsewhere.

Barter St resident Ross Caulfield was the first to phone 000. He said he got the "run-around" from emergency dispatchers and while he understood that time appeared delayed in those situations, he strongly felt it would have been quicker to contact the Gympie fire station direct.

While Gympie Detective Senior Constable David Britton investigated yesterday with Scenes of Crime forensics officer John Kane, the burnt-out vehicle created an obstacle in the complex's busy carpark as business returned to normal.

He asked anyone with information that could help with investigations to contact Gympie police on 5480 1111 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Policelink, 131 444.

In case of a fire, the Gympie fire station can be reached on 5482 2566.

Gympie Times


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