Arson suspected at Liverpool Council chambers

25 Aug

POLICE have confirmed the devastating fire which destroyed Liverpool Council chambers on August 15 is being treated as suspicious.

The case has been taken over by the State Crime Command’s arson squad, which will continue the investigation into the fire.

Strike Force Guideon has been set up to focus solely on the investigation.

“The case is with the arson squad and we are treating it as suspicious but, having said that, we are still investigating the circumstances surrounding exactly what happened,” a State Crime Command spokeswoman said.

The spokewoman refused to comment on what lines of inquiry they were following.

“It’s too early to really speculate any more on it than that,” she said. “This is just where we are at the moment, it’s a major forensic investigation.”

At 12.35am on Sunday, August 15, police and NSW Fire Brigades crews responded to the fire at the council’s chambers and administration centre on Hoxton Park Rd.

By the time crews arrived the fire was already alight with the building engulfed in flames.

An intruder alert sounded just before the fire started.

No one was injured as a result of the blaze.

This week Mayor Wendy Waller said confirmation the fire was arson “makes it that much more real to all those connected with Liverpool Council.”

“It shows it’s a very, very serious situation,” Cr Waller said.

Security arrangements for staff and councillors will be reviewed as a result.

“Particularly for the senior staff who bear the brunt of the decision-making process. This will be undertaken as part of our occupational health and safety responsibilities,” she said.

Cr Ned Mannoun said if any extra security was offered to councillors, he would take this up.

“I now have concerns for my safety, the safety of all the councillors and council staff,” Cr Mannoun said.

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