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Arson caught by own fire

October 23rd, 2011 Australia

An arsonist may have been caught by his own handiwork when a blast happened at a house in Adelaide’s north-east, showering debris across a wide area.

Arson caught by own firePolice said a man was seen emerging from the wreckage of the unoccupied property at Holden Hill just after the blast at about 2.15am (CDST) on Sunday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Clarke said it could be that the man was attempting to set fire to the home but was caught inside or nearby when the explosion occurred.

The man was clearly shaken and unstable when he emerged before getting into a car and leaving the scene, Sgt Clarke said.

Sgt Clarke said the man might have suffered serious burns or other injuries and detectives were checking on local hospitals for anyone who had presented for treatment.

Police were startled by the extent of the damage but were following up some strong lines of inquiry, Sgt Clarke said.

‘The scene has been forensically tested and there are some positive indications that some accelerant was used,’ he said.

The home was completely destroyed by the blast and the fire that followed, and nearby homes also suffered extensive damage.

Some had windows blown in or were damaged by falling debris.

No-one in the neighbouring properties was injured.

Police said they were yet to contact the owner of the home, which had been vacant for about two weeks.

They were also yet to speak to the most recent tenants.