Fire bug strikes four times: Cops
A man accused of purposely setting fire to a unit block, two homes and a business on Wednesday night is a serial arsonist who was only released from prison one day before the fires.
Sean Douglas Broom, 50, a pyromaniac convicted of at least 20 arson-related offences in an extensive criminal history dating back to 1993, was released from prison on Tuesday.
Police allege that just one day later on Wednesday, which also happened to be Broom's 50th birthday, he lit four fires in less than three hours, destroying a home, several vehicles and causing extensive smoke and water damage to a unit block.
Police have described Broom as a "serious and recidivist arson offender who has no respect for the laws which govern a democratic society and has consideration only for himself at the expense of countless victims to which he causes distress, anxiety, fear and financial loss".
Police allege shortly after 8pm on August 12, Broom first set fire to a pile of cardboard and plastic pallets leaning against a large industrial bin alongside a business but quick-thinking passers by managed to contain the flames by moving the bin, allowing firefighters to extinguish the fire before it could consume the building.
An hour later, police will allege Broom set fire to a cardboard storage box underneath a Franklin Street home.
Witnesses who saw smoke and flames coming from underneath the home called firefighters who managed to contain the blaze to underneath the dwelling, causing minor damage.
It's alleged the fire was started underneath the home's gas lines and amid highly flammable items including a mattresses and boxes of paperwork.
Shortly before 10pm, a second house in the same street was set alight with the home fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, causing extensive damage.
Police will allege Broom then went to a fourth Highgate Hill address, a three-storey Hampstead Road unit block where he lit a fire in one of the car ports on the ground floor beneath the residents.
Three vehicles were completely destroyed and two others received minor heat and smoke damage.
The unit complex sustained major smoke, fire and water damage.
Officers said residents were alerted to the "ferocious" fire when they felt the ground below them shaking and smelled smoke.
Broom was arrested and faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning and he did not apply for bail.
He will face court again on September 21.
Originally published as Four fires lit by serial arsonist a day after jail release - cops