A QUICK door knock of people living near the former St John’s Orphanage on Friday morning provided a mixed reaction to the recent spate of fires at the complex.
A woman living across the road (who did not wish to be named) said she saw a lot of youths going in there at all hours of the day and night.
“One night I came out and a strange man was sitting in my car,” she said.
“I called the police, but they are up here a lot. There have been three fires in the last year. We cop the smoke and I am worried there might be asbestos in that smoke.”
Phil Phelps has lived near the property for 11 years. He is also worried about the smoke that billows across his house during the fires.
“I am worried about the smoke and what it has in it - it might have asbestos,” Mr Phelps said.
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“I heard the police were going to make the owner put a high fence around the place to stop people getting in. I warned him it would go up in smoke. I feel sorry for the other people living around here. We don’t know what’s going to happen next.
“I mow lawns and I had to move fuel from the back of my house during the fire last night. I hope something gets done with it, that they restore it somehow.”
Many people were driving through Glebe Street to have a look at the damage. One lady (Vicki) said people who grew up in the orphanage kept coming back.
“I grew up near here. We never had any trouble from the boys in the home, though I think it was tough for them. It is their home - that’s why they come back to it regularly,” she said.
Another nearby resident, Courtney Flack said she hoped something could be done to the buildings to conserve their history.
“I don’t think people go in there with malicious intent, I think it is like a dare for kids to go into it. I would like to see it preserved. It is a big part of Goulburn’s history,” she said.
Another nearby resident Joan (no surname supplied) said she had lived there for six years.
“I was really angry when I found out about another fire,” she said.
"I don’t know what should happen with it. We should honour the architect, it's unfortunate that it keeps happening. It's sad, they should have done something to it years ago. I am worried when I'm away but there's not a lot I can do."