Cops home in on Mt Coolum arson suspect
POLICE have focused on a person in their hunt for whoever lit a series of suspicious fires in the Coolum and North Shore area.
There have been 19 unexplained fires reported since September 12, including a suspected arson which resulted in about 50 hectares of Mt Coolum bushland being burned last week.
The fires have also included someone placing a phone book under a wheel arch of a car parked in Wales Ct in Coolum Beach on October 20 and setting it alight.
Sunshine Coast District Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Daren Edwards was not willing to say yesterdayMonday whether their suspect was a man or a woman.
"We have been looking at a person that is known to us," Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.
He said police believed a number of the fires, including the Mt Coolum fire, were linked.
They also included a fire which destroyed the rear of Good Harvest Organics and damaged neighbouring businesses in Marcoola on November 7.
CCTV footage taken from a nearby business on the night was released in the hope people would be able to identify two people with whom police wanted to speak.
Firefighters have also reported a number of grassfires in the Coolum area which were regarded as suspicious.
Some of them were multiple fires in proximity in the space of one night.
A fire which destroyed a car at Pacific Paradise on November 12 has also not been ruled out as having possible links to other fires.
A nearby resident to that fire reported the car "exploding".
Most of the fires are believed to have been lit in the hours of darkness, some late at night and some early in the morning.
Det Snr Sgt Edwards said the most recent Mt Coolum fire was a major concern due to the popularity of the walking track during the day and night as well as nearby housing.
"Obviously it's going to result in someone being injured or killed."
Det Snr Sgt Edwards referred to the deliberate lighting of the fires as "blatant stupidity".
He said two items seized from the scene of the Mt Coolum fire were still being forensically examined.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.