Teen hooligans blamed for night of fire as cars torched

POLICE believe teenagers could be responsible for two of three cars that were damaged and destroyed by fire around Goonellabah within seven hours on Tuesday.

The spate of torchings began about 4.15pm when fire fighters were called to reports of a car on fire on Spring Ave.

A Newcastle Fire Communications spokesman said when the Goonellabah crew arrived they found a car on fire outside a house.

"Crews had to not only put out the car, but protect the house," the spokesman said.

"A second car parked nearby was partially damaged due to the heat."

The Goonellabah NSW Fire and Rescue crew waited less than an hour before they were called to the next car fire on Fischer St.

A Newcastle Fire Communications spokesman said the Fire and Rescue NSW Goonellabah pumper was called at 6pm to reports of a car on fire in a carpark underneath units.

When fire fighters arrived they found a Holden Commodore in a garage under the units was well alight.

"That was a big deal because a car on fire in an underground parking space can be a big problem," the spokesman said.

A 13-year-old boy is assisting police in their investigation.

Then at 11.23pm police and NSW Fire and Rescue responded to reports of a car fire and possible shots fired on Cynthia Wilson Dr.

When they arrived they found an abandoned van was well alight and its tyres had exploded.

Police said four boys aged between 14 and 16 wearing hooded jumpers, were last seen running from the scene.

There have been complaints about the van, which had been abandoned and left parked at an angle half-way up the street for several weeks before the fire. In that time, vandals had already given it a working-over, smashing its windows, scattering the road around it with broken glass.

Police reminded parents to know what they teenagers are up to at night.

"Parents, if your 14 - 16 year old son was out last night in Goonellabah when he should have been at home in bed, have a think about who he was with and what he could have been doing," said Youth Liaison Officer senior constable Laleynya Ryan.

"Sometimes these kids need to face the consequences, to realise the serious harm they are causing."

Anyone with information about the car fires call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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