Housing tenant on arson charge

A PUBLIC housing tenant has been charged with arson following his dramatic rescue from a burning unit in Gympie's outskirts.

Emergency services was called to the complex late Sunday by residents who put out a fire inside a cupboard.

It was believed they dragged to safety a 19-year-old tenant found unconscious in the bathroom.

When firefighters arrived the fire was mostly extinguished and the teenager was coherent, speaking with police.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital where he allegedly fled authorities before being treated. He was located later by Gympie police.

Investigating officers alleged the tenant set fire to a wardrobe in the unit before he collapsed in the bathroom.

Smoke alarms alerted neighbours, who came out of their units and noticed smoke coming from the unit.

Witnesses said they dragged the young man to safety after they put the fire out with their fire extinguishers.

No one was burnt, but a small amount of smoke inhalation was incurred.

Gympie Fire and Rescue officers said the blaze had threatened to burn through the roof and had been intense enough to do a lot of damage if not brought under control early by the neighbours.

The teen was remanded in custody overnight and appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday to face one charge of arson. The matter was adjourned for an assessment and the teen again remanded in custody.

Gympie Times

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