Vinnies fire believed deliberate

Damage to the St Vincent de Paul Society building is estimated at $50,000.

Police. Smithton Police has thanked local firefighters for saving a burning building in the wake of fire early Sunday morning (April 10).

Police and Tasmania Fire Service were called to St Vincent de Paul Society on Nelson Street, Smithton at 12am, where a fire had started in the loading bay before spreading to the building.

No one was injured in the fire.

Smithton Police Constable Will Smith said had it not been for quick-acting crews, the building would not be here today.

“The fire investigator that attended stated that if the fire continued for an extra five to 10 minutes, it would have completely destroyed the buildings and possibly surrounding building and vehicles,” Constable Smith said.

“He [also] expressed his appreciation to them for their fast response.”

It took just under an hour for four crews, from Smithton and Stanley, to extinguish the flames.

Damage is estimated at $50,000 with smoke damage to the entire building and fire damage to the foundation’s rear.

Investigations into the fire are continuing.

The source of the fire is not yet known, however police suspect it was deliberately lit by a small ignition source, that of a lighter or match for example.

There has been a spate of property fires in Smithton recently.

A large skip bin behind the Reject Shop was lit on two occasions and fires were also lit in the old Emmerton Park building on Davis Street, which is currently being demolished. Police have interviewed two suspects in relation to these earlier fires.

“We’re currently investigating the fires as we believe they are connected,” Constable Smith added.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1300 555 000.

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