Arson Unit detectives investigate link between fires at industrial laundries, NSW

Detectives are appealing for witnesses a suspicious fire at an industrial laundry complex in Sydney’s south-west, as they explore links to an earlier fire at a similar business.

Just after 4.20pm on Saturday 27 October 2018, police and emergency services responded to a fire at commercial laundry and linen factory on Airds Road, Minto.

Fire & Rescue NSW fire fighters took several hours to extinguish blaze and render the scene safe.

The fire caused significant damage, which is believed to exceed $1.6 million, as well as smoke damage to surrounding factory units.

Detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad’s Arson Unit established Strike Force Denfield to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fire.

Investigators located ignition points inside the building; they believe the fire was deliberately lit.

As their inquiries continue, detectives are appealing for information from the community that may assist with inquiries.

Financial Crimes Squad’s Arson Unit Coordinator, Detective Inspector Richard Puffett, said even on a Saturday, this is a busy industrial area, and investigators are hoping to refresh the memories of anyone who was in the area at the time.

“Detectives have conducted extensive canvasses of the area and reviewed hours of CCTV, which has led us to believe the factory was accessed from the rear,” Det Insp Puffett said.

“It is most likely whoever lit the fire travelled to and from the area along the Bow Bowing Creek canal.

“We would like to speak with anyone who may have noticed something suspicious that afternoon – particularly if they saw someone in the canal area.”

Strike force detectives are also examining potential links between this fire and an earlier fire at another commercial linen supplier in the area.

“Our inquiries have led us to believe this fire may be linked to a large fire that destroyed another commercial laundry in the nearby suburb of Ingleburn on Wednesday 11 March 2015,” Det Insp Puffett said.

“Both fires are suspected to have been deliberately lit and targeted the same type of business, which were operating in the same area, and while there’s a few years between incidents, the similarities certainly raise our suspicions.

“As our inquiries continue, we’d urge anyone with relevant information to come forward.”

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Denfield investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence.

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