Police investigate links between four fires that destroyed homes and cars across south west Sydney

Police are appealing for information after four suspicious fires damaged two homes and two cars across south west Sydney overnight.

At around 11:30pm, emergency rescue services were called to the fire at a house in Airds that eventually destroyed the newly-built property.

Just over an hour later, emergency workers received a call from a house fire at St Helens Park after a car had been driven into the property.

There were no fatalities during either of the fires, but a 70-year-old woman, the resident of the St Helens Park house, is currently in hospital under observation for smoke inhalation.

Neighbors assisted her out of the burning house.

After 1am, emergency services were called to Airds again after reports of a car being on fire.

The car in question is linked to the owners of the now-destroyed house.

The house in St Helens Park was set ablaze following a car driving directly into the property.(ABC News: Alex Lewis)

Shortly after, another car fire — this time in Claymore — was alerted to emergency services.

This second car was allegedly stolen a couple of months ago, according to police.

The cause of these four fires, and whether they’re connected, is currently under investigation.

One suspected cause for the fire in St Helens Park was the car that drove into the house.

Zone Commander for Metropolitan South 3 Greg Wright said the cause of the two fires has not been determined.(ABC News: Liam Patrick)

“We understand there may have been a car that was driven into the home – that was on fire,” said Zone Commander for Metropolitan South 3 Greg Wright.

Mr Wright said it is currently not clear whether the car was already on fire when it was driven into the home.

Potential connection to shooting earlier in week

Mr Wright said the cause and any factors as to why the fire started are being investigated by police and fire investigators.

However, the fire in St Helens Park comes days after reports of guns fired into another house on the same street.

Detective Inspector Andrew Mackay said there was a definite “line of inquiry” about whether the house fire in St Helens Park was related to last week’s shooting.

A police officer standing in front of a press release
Detective Inspector Andrew Mackay called on the public to assist police by sharing any possible information they had.(ABC News: Liam Patrick)

“We’re keeping an open mind, there’s a team of detectives working on the incident last week … when shots were fired into the premises.

“And then, of course, the incident last night may very well be linked.”

Mr Mackay said the occupant of the home that was shot last week “is known to the police”, but the occupant of the home that caught fire is not known to the police.

He said it’s possible the St Helen’s Park fire may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Police tape cuts off a driveway which leads to a burnt out car and home.
Police have said it’s possible there’s a link between with the St Helens Park fire and a shooting on the same street last week.(ABC News: Alex Lewis)

Mr Mackay said it’s also possible the house fire in Airds may have been a case of arson.

Mr Mackay said police were seeking the assistance of the public and that police “really do need the help of the community to identify those involved”.

‘Quite scary’

St Helens Park resident and neighbor Peter Hannan said he woke up at 1:30am to the smell of burning wood, later noticing a number of fire engines around him.

Mr Hannan said the connection of the shooting and the fire on his street was something “quite scary”.

A middle-aged man with short hair standing outside his home.
St Helens Park resident Peter Hannan woke up at 1:30am to the smell of burning wood.(ABC News: Liam Patrick)

“I kind of hope these people get brought to justice as soon as possible because obviously, I don’t want them coming back and potentially doing the same thing to me.”

Mr Hannan said he was now considering getting CCTV installed so he and his aunty could be more helpful to the police.

 
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