Teens suspected of lighting house fire at Edmonton.
Bianca Keegan, Monday, June 25, 2012 © The Cairns Post
FIVE teenagers were last night being questioned by police after they allegedly set fire to an abandoned house at Edmonton.
The two-storey house at Mill Rd went up in flames just after 1pm with four fire crews from Cairns and Cairns South called on to bring the blaze under control.
Billowing smoke could be seen from the Bruce Highway prompting dozens of residents to gather on the footpath.The Cairns Post arrived on the scene as firefighters started to take control of the fire about 1.30pm.
At 3pm yesterday, the destroyed house was on the verge of collapse and was declared a crime scene.
“There was no power connected so for the place to catch on fire is suspicious,” a police spokesman said.
A neighbour told The Cairns Post yesterday youths had been seen running from the property minutes before the fire was reported.
He said the house had become an eyesore after it was left abandoned several years ago.
He also said the house had been a regular haunt for local teenagers.
“It’s been a place kids just come and run amok,” he said.
“It should have been knocked down years ago.”
Cairns South firefighter Gavin Nichols said the property was well alight when fire crews arrived.
“As to the cause, no determinations have been made,” he said yesterday.
“There was a threat to the property next door. There (were) flames coming across the fence line.’’
Occupants of the house next door were not home at the time of the fire but the boundary fence and some vegetation had been burned.
Firefighters were also inspected by paramedics at the scene after concerns the house (pictured) contained asbestos.
The distressed owners of the house looked on as fire fighters tried to save the structure. A police spokesman said last night no charges had been laid but investigations were continuing after five teenagers were taken in for questioning late yesterday.
“The matter is currently under investigation. We have a crime scene, a building that is just about destroyed, there is no power connected so for the place to catch on fire is suspicious,’’ the spokesman said.
“We are looking at a number of juveniles, we’ve got detectives currently interviewing some suspects.”
Source: The Cairns Post