Centre on fire – again


CFA brigades from Baxter, Langwarrin, Hastings and a breathing apparatus van from Frankston battled a fire which destroyed a portable office at the rear of the Somerville recreation centre on Saturday night.

Crews were alerted to a bin fire at 10.40pm at the rear of the mechanics hall by a passer-by. When they arrived, a large column of smoke was seen rising from the rear of the old rec centre, which itself was burnt out in November in a blaze which caused $1.75-$2 million damage.

On Sunday 5 February crews were called to a “small” blaze inside the rec centre’s kitchen and office area, 4.45pm. Office materials may have been used to light the fire which was restricted to bench tops.

Somerville brigade captain David O’Brien said the Saturday 11 February blaze was again deliberate. “Whoever lit the fire in the dumpster pushed it into the wall of the portable and it was fully engaged when we arrived. Flames were beginning to impact on the rear of the main building.”

The $60,000 portable was destroyed and the blaze took about an hour to control. Three youths were seen running towards Jones Rd.

Police had cordoned off the area and arson experts were searching for clues on Sunday morning.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

First published in the Western Port News – 14 February 2017


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