Police charge two over separate arson and firearms offences

Two men have been charged this week in relation to a house fire in Warrnambool last year that threatened the lives of a man and a woman.

One of those charged is facing further charges in relation to a separate investigation into firearms trafficking.

Police will allege the men set fire to the front of a residential premises in Raglan Parade, Warrnambool on 29 June, 2021 causing a large fire explosion and extensive damage to the property.

At the time of the blaze, a man and a woman were asleep in the master bedroom dangerously close to the fire.

Fortunately, they were not physically injured.

On Friday 17 June, Queensland Police executed a warrant at an address in Currumbin, Queensland where they arrested a 39-year-old man.

Warrnambool detectives travelled to Queensland on Sunday 19 June.

The man faced Southport Magistrates’ Court on Monday 20 June where he was extradited to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday 22 June to face charges of arson and conduct endanger life.

He has since been remanded to face Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court on 18 July, 2022.

Detectives from Warrnambool Crime Investigation Unit and the Illicit Firearms Unit executed a second search warrant at an address in Halliwell Court, Corio on Tuesday 21 June, arresting a 36-year-old man.

He was charged with arson and conduct endanger life in relation to the Warrnambool incident.

The man was also charged with a range of firearms offences in relation to a separate investigation by the Illicit Firearms Unit and Shepparton Crime Investigation Unit into an alleged burglary where a number of firearms were stolen from a property in Shepparton on 29 August, 2021.

Eight people have previously been charged in relation to this matter.

The man appeared before Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 22 June and was remanded to face the same court on 16 September 2022.

Quotes attributable to Detective Sergeant Andrew Raven – Warrnambool Crime Investigation Unit:

“The nature of this alleged offending is concerning. Police have seen far too many times how a house fire can get out of control, leaving those in the house at great risk of harm.

“Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident, and the community can rest assured we will continue to work tirelessly to apprehend offenders and put them before court.”

/Public Release. View in full here.