Police are investigating a spate of car fires in the quiet suburban streets of Kaleen in the early hours of Friday morning (15 February) as Canberra’s summer of car fires rolls on.
Will Gooch, who was staying at his girlfriend’s place for the past week while planning to move to a new house this weekend, had parked his car on the nature strip at the front of the house on Gairdner Circuit. His girlfriend was just about to get to bed when she heard the sizzle of something burning coming from the front yard.
“She looked out her window which is adjacent to where my car was parked and saw my car was on fire. They had started a fire on the driver’s side under the bonnet. It looks like they have shoved something under the bonnet and lit it,” Will said.
“I came out running and screaming and I tried to put the fire out with a towel, anything to try and smother it. By that time it was under the engine and there was nothing I could do. I went into panic mode and rushed to grab everything out of my car.
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“The windscreen hadn’t caved in, and it probably was not the smartest thing to do but I tried to grab everything I own out of the car while it was alight. It was full of clothes, golf clubs and everything ready for me to move today. If I had lost them, it would have set me back to step one.”
A mere ten minutes prior to this incident, firefighters were called to a car fire in Terewah Circuit in Kaleen, two streets away from where Will Gooch’s car was parked. Will’s car was parked within 15 metres of the house under two trees, and was lucky his girlfriend noticed the fire before it reached the house and surrounding trees.
Will said he was left absolutely gutted and his moving plans are now in disarray.
“It is beyond a joke. I just don’t understand people. What line of reasoning would lead you to light cars on fire in the middle of a street?” he said. “I am gutted and I have lost any shred of faith in humanity.
“I don’t know who did this but I was ready to go on a rampage to just try and find them.
“It isn’t just about the money. I have had to take the day off work, I have to chase up other cars to help me move, I have to go through insurance. It is an incredible hassle.”
This most recent incident follows a spate of car fire incidents in the capital – 56 in December, and more recently, cars set alight last month in an O’Connor car park.
An ACT Policing spokesperson said police were aware of car fires in Kaleen this morning and were investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.