Arsonists destroy sports centre
AS fire-fighters fought to save a $1.5million sports centre from a fierce blaze, three arsonists lurked just metres away preparing to strike again.
That’s the scenario police are investigating after what is believed to have been a deliberately lit fire destroyed the Mike Maher Centre at Glenmore State High School about 10.50pm on Monday.
The brazen crime, the fifth arson attack on the school in the past three years, left Central region crime coordinator Jon Wacker shaking his head.
“To have the gall to do this while police are only 200m away is very ballsy,” Detective Inspector Wacker said.
He said witnesses saw three suspected arsonists race off into nearby bushland after they triggered the alarm at the adjoining Glenmore Primary School.
Despite extensive searches and having called in the dog squad police didn’t find the trio and Inspector Wacker yesterday urged anyone with information to come forward.
“This is a senseless act of vandalism,” he said.
According to Peter, one of the first people on scene after the fire started, the blaze was fierce.
“By the time I got there the roof was well alight and there was a lot of smoke,” said Peter, who didn’t want to provide his surname for concern about reprisals.
“It all happened so quickly.”
Fire-fighters were unable to save the well-engulfed hall, but managed to protect surrounding buildings.
The Brisbane-based arson squad was expected to arrive in Rockhampton yesterday afternoon to help with investigations.
Inspector Wacker said the school had CCTV cameras and a private security company made regular checks of the grounds.
He said a lot of people were in the vicinity of the school after Monday’s fire and he urged anyone who saw something suspicious or had information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.