Residents fear fires deliberately started 

FIVE fires in as many weeks have a Griffith mother fearful for the safety of her children.

Walla Avenue residents are convinced regular grass fires surrounding their homes have been deliberately lit and they want something done about it before they lose property or life.

Mother Emma Brown has pleaded with police to catch the perpetrators after a pile of woodchips was set alight in her backyard.

"It's only a matter of time until my house burns down the way this is going and I am genuinely concerned for the safety of my children," she said.

"The firies told me they couldn't back-burn safely because there weren't enough trucks and the grass area was too close to homes.

"The police told me they can't do anything because we don't know for sure who lit the fires and we haven't seen them physically light them."

Mrs Brown said she has also recently had a car stolen from out the front of her house, which was found burnt-out a short time later.

One of the recent fires burnt under Henry Ahkee's fence where his daughter, Precious, was home alone putting washing on the line.

"My daughter Precious was outside hanging the washing on the line when a fire came towards our house," Mr Ahkee said.

"The fire got under our fence, but luckily our neighbour came to help my daughter keep it under control with hoses and buckets until the firefighters arrived.

"This week all the cars in our street were broken into and I'd say it's the same young people behind it all."

Griffith Police Inspector John Wadsworth reminded the community to stay on the look-out for suspicious behaviour.

"If you see someone during a walk or in your travels who appears suspicious during this fire danger period, we urge you to give Griffith police a ring," Inspector Wadsworth said.

"While in most cases it will be nothing, it may well be a person who is going to commit an arson offence and as we know from history, the damage that can be caused from these fires is prolific.

"Further to that, anyone in our community who thinks they may commit an offence of arson should be very aware we have systems in place to monitor their behaviour, but we also rely heavily on the community to give us a ring."

Madeline and Chelsea Brown stare at the burnt grass just outside their home on Walla Avenue, Griffith.

Madeline and Chelsea Brown stare at the burnt grass just outside their home on Walla Avenue, Griffith.


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