10 October 2018

Police believe fire that destroyed $200k of athletic equipment was deliberately lit

| Lachlan Roberts
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The fire destroyed archives which contained more than 60 years of records. Photos: Supplied by Athletics ACT

Police believe the fire that destroyed $200k of athletic equipment at Woden Athletics Park on Monday night (8 October) was deliberately lit.

Around 11:30 pm, emergency services attended Phillip Enclosed Oval at the intersection of Ainsworth Street and Yamba Drive where an equipment shed used by Little Athletics ACT was reported to be alight.

ACT Fire & Rescue attended the scene with two pumpers, a commander and a breathing apparatus vehicle. The fire was located in a shed on the western side of the park, and firefighters were forced to cut into the shed to extinguish the fire and ventilate.

The shed sustained significant internal damage and the equipment stored inside was destroyed.

Following an analysis of the scene, ACT Policing forensics and fire investigators believe the fire to be suspicious.

Police also conducted a search of the park and identified several damaged windows and a damaged office space that had been ransacked and had items stolen from it.

It’s a heartbreaking loss for athletics in the ACT, with the fire destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and 60+ years of priceless archives.

Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who may have dash cam footage of the park or surrounding area between 10 pm – 1 am on Monday night.

Detective Acting Station Sergeant Mark Rowswell appealed for witnesses to come forward.

“I would urge anyone with information on this incident to contact police or Crime Stoppers immediately,” Detective Acting Station Sergeant Rowswell said. “I would also strongly urge those involved in this incident to come forward before police come knocking on your door.”

If you have any information regarding this incident that could assist police, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.

Please quote reference 6317570. Information can be provided anonymously.

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