A small fire at the old Saint John’s Orphanage on Wednesday night was believed to have been deliberately lit.
NSW Fire and Rescue and the RFS were called to the Mundy Street, Gouburn building at 6.40pm.
They found that furniture items had been piled up inside a room in a rear cottage and set alight, NSW Fire and Rescue deputy captain Kerri-Lea Borchard said.
“There was nothing else that was cobustible in the room and it was extinguished fairly quickly,” she told The Post.
However crews had to pull down a door to access the outbreak.
Despite its minor nature, three NSW Fire and Rescue vehicles and two RFS units attended the scene. Deputy Captain Borchard said as the call was reported as a building fire, crews did not know what to expect.
“The state of the building and the fact that people are still gaining access and lighting fires (is a concern),” she said.
Neighbours who reported the fire told The Post they didn’t see any intruders beforehand.
It’s believed the offenders moved security fencing around the building before entering the cottage.
Owner John Ferrara was ordered to erect the fencing following a series of major fires in November, 2015 and October and November, 2016 that gutted the building. They were followed by minor outbreaks, believed to have been deliberately lit.
The 1912 EC Manfred designed structure has also been the subject of several council-issued emergency orders.
Neighbour Carolyn Clancy has written several letters to the editor complaining that intruders have breached the security fencing and calling on the owner and the council to act on the building’s “unsafe” state.