QFES volunteer charged with deliberately lighting bushfires

| 23.09,19. 11:15 PM |

QFES volunteer charged with deliberately lighting bushfires

Volunteer firefighter Harley Ian Smith has been charged over allegedly lighting fires in Queensland. (Supplied)

An 18-year-old rural firefighter has been charged with deliberately lighting three different fires in South East Queensland.

Harley Ian Smith is accused of lighting the fires on Saturday night on the outskirts of Nanango, about 200km north-west of Brisbane.

All three fires came metres from destroying family homes.

"This could have, if it got real bad, almost killed at least a few families, taken down a few houses," resident Jacki Sullivan told 9News.

Police say two of the fires were just 150 metres apart from each other next to the rail trail on the Nanango Brooklands Road.

Smith has been a volunteer with the East Nanango Rural Fire Brigade for the past 12 months. Police claim the 18-year-old lit one fire, then another. Residents woke to furious flames.

"Spread pretty quick. Could have done a lot of damage but luckily it didn't," Mr Sullivan said.

Firefighters were quickly on the scene and able to put out the separate blazes.

"It is a little bit worrying," Senior Sergeant David Tierney said.

"To know somebody, they've worked with or somebody they knew has to go put those fires out."

Detectives claim Smith started a third fire in a skip bin shortly afterwards, just a few hundred metres away on G.S. Wilson Drive.

"I was sitting in the lounge room it was about 10.30 at night, and I heard 'whoosh.' That sounded odd so when I walked outside that's when I saw the 12-15 foot flames," witness Clive McFarlane told 9News.

It is understood Smith wasn't called out to fight the fire but did happen to be at the scene, raising investigators suspicions.

He was arrested and charged yesterday with two counts of lighting an unauthorised fire and one count of wilful damage.

He is due to appear in Nanango Magistrates Court on October 31.


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Teen arrested over Sydney video shoot 'riot' Four arrested after spate of violence in Sydney overnight Five children, youngest aged 12, charged after high-speed police chase through Brisbane ماذا سيحدث لنتانياهو إذا لم يشكل الحكومة؟ Serial escapee accused of punching police dog flees from Perth hospital 'Element of surprise': Government defends no warning signs for $88m phone detection cameras 'Father and son' dead in NSW plane crash near Coffs Harbour, police say Jock Palfreeman released from Bulgarian prison and taken to detention centre عشاق آبل خيموا مبكرا أمام متاجرها في أستراليا ليكونوا أول من يحصل على آيفون 11 Bullying and violence inquiry in Canberra schools backs protection orders, social workers Elderly patient dies after being ramped at Flinders Medical Centre Doctors failed to act on sepsis risk in the hours before Joanne Craig's death, coroner finds 70m wind turbine blade blocks road after truck rollover near Bothwell in Tasmania Byron Council evacuated as Sydney bomb squad sent in to deal with 'suspicious device' Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital executive claimed $500,000 in cancer research funding, CCC finds The Catholic Church has its own secret investigation into Pell. Here's who is running it Two arrested over murder of Danielle Easey who was dumped in creek wrapped in plastic Mum uses son's deadly drink-driving crash as warning to teens Alleged Darwin gunman Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann to plead not guilty, lawyer says Woman shot by police in Geraldton in WA's Mid West dies in hospital Rain reaches parts of western NSW but no real relief for farmers battling drought Man accused of indecently assaulting child in shopping centre Man charged with murder over Perth woman's death NAB customers hit with sophisticated email banking phishing scam Governer-General visits Perth Muslim Community Genetics laboratory fire in Yarram destroys 100 cryogenic cylinders containing cattle semen NSW wild weather brings surprise snow to Goulburn and Blue Mountains, and heavy rain for Sydney ASIO warns of terrorism risk from stripping Australian suspects of citizenship Three Liberal MPs to move spill motion against Premier over abortion bill Julie Bishop offers to help Perth travel bloggers, Melbourne uni lecturer locked up in Iran