Nearby residents Rhonda and Mick Hurst’s photo of the South Grafton pool fire.
Nearby residents Rhonda and Mick Hurst’s photo of the South Grafton pool fire.

No links between fires yet

POLICE yesterday refused to be drawn on whether there was any link between two fires on Friday night – the arson attack on the South Grafton pool and a smaller blaze 1.3 kilometres away at the Grafton Community College – other than to say they were both being investigated.

The NSW Fire Brigade confirmed it received an emergency call to the college at 11.08pm and while attending that fire a call to the pool fire was received at 11.33pm.

It appears the arsonist or arsonists gained entry to the South Grafton pool building through some louvred windows on the building’s western side, as evidenced by broken glass inside the complex.

From there, operator Alan Paterson said, the crims smashed the internal windows separating the pool area from the kiosk/office area.

Though police did not reveal whether any accelerants had been used, it is suspected paper and office materials may have helped in the ignition of the fire

“We think they’ve set it alight to maybe get rid of fingerprints,” Mr Paterson said.

The firebugs who lit the Grafton Community College fire somehow managed to gain entry to a fenced undersection of the building, possibly by climbing and jumping through small spaces between the fencing and the floor of the building.

The starter material of that fire, which ignited timber and old doors, is also unknown.

South Grafton Fire Brigade captain Dennis Pye said he believed the pool fire and the college fire were linked.

“It’s far too coincidental that they’d both go on the same night,” he said.

Coffs Clarence police were also asked if they had any suspects for the cases or if they believed there was any link between Friday’s incidents and the Grafton pool fire of December 2008.

“Both fires are under investigation at this stage and apart from confirming the fact that police are investigating we are not releasing any other details,” Coffs/Clarence Crime Manager Inspector Cameron Lindsay said.

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