Suspicious fire in Ballina cafe
UPDATE, Sunday 10am:
POLICE and firefighters are urging the public to make contact if they have any information regarding a suspicious fire in Ballina in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The fire which is believed to have been started just before 1am Saturday, completely destroyed the old Shelley Beach cafe, which has been unoccupied for several years.
NSW Fire & Rescue duty commander Nick Andronicos said the investigation had been handed over the local police to be investigated.
"If anyone has any information about this fire then we ask them to call the police," he said.
The fire took four fire trucks and 15 fire-fighters, including the Goonellabah Hazmat crew to contain and extinguish.
IN THE early hours of Saturday morning, despite attempts by 15 firefighters, a coastal building was destroyed by a suspicious fire.
Fire & Rescue NSW Duty Commander Nick Andronicos, said four appliances including the Hazmat van from Goonellebah attended the blaze at Shelley Beach, Ballina, which occurred just before 1am.
"Local crews said the unoccupied building was the old Shelly Beach cafe next door to the surf club," he said.
"We were altered just before 1am and on arrival found the building fully engaged and the roof caved in, so we conducted a defensive attack."
Mr Andronicos said the firefighters concentrated their efforts on protecting the surrounding bush and extinguished the fire from a safe distance.
"Crews used breathing apparatus with the Goonellabah Hazmat crew providing BA support," he said.
"Firefighters also used a ground monitor connected to a large 70mm hose, which is then programmed to disperse water from a safe distance".
Meanwhile, Mr Andronicos said the incident is being treated as suspicious.
"We have spoken with police and the investigation has been handed over to them."
Other crews in attendance were Fire and Rescue NSW Station 204 Alstonville and Ballina Fire Station.