News, Police Rounds

Balgownie man charged with allegedly starting a bushfire on Wednesday

police 2POLICE responding to a paraglider trapped in a tree at Balgownie yesterday, have arrested a man who allegedly started a fire in nearby bushland.

The man was arrested after police and the Police Rescue Squad went to the assistance of a 61-year-old man who had crashed into a tree in Tucker Avenue, Balgownie, about 2pm on Wednesday (yesterday).

As the rescue operation progressed, officers smelled smoke about 5.30pm and went on foot to investigate, discovering the bushland nearby on fire.

Police will allege a 20-year-old man was seen fanning the flames and he was arrested. Fire and Rescue NSW attended and extinguished the blaze within the hour; however, about 150 square metres of bushland had already been destroyed.

The man, from Balgownie, was taken to Wollongong Police Station where he has been charged with cause or set fire to the property.

The man has been granted strict conditional bail to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday December 3. Police have seized the man’s mobile phone for forensic examination.

About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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