BURNT OUT: The fire left one car gutted and the other severely damaged, but did not harm anyone.
BURNT OUT: The fire left one car gutted and the other severely damaged, but did not harm anyone. Kelly Butterworth

Emerald police say car fires suspicious

A TWO-vehicle fire on Park Ave in Emerald that has left a home owner rattled is being treated as suspicious.

Detective Senior Constable Fay Worthington said the police were awaiting information.

"We are treating the fire as suspicious and are waiting for the forensic results," Det Snr Const Worthington said.

"So far it is unknown how the fire was ignited."

A 2010 Great Wall station wagon was destroyed and a 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer damaged in the blaze, which was brought under control by eight firefighters.

Owner Ken Ash said he was the only person at home when he was woken by police at 3am.

"It was a bit of a shock waking up to it," he said.

"I came outside and the flames were twice the size of the house.

"The police said when they went in to get me they were half that size.

"I had to go to a hotel for the day with a change of clothes.

"Then, when they said I could come back, I just tried to take it all in.

"It's one big mess."

Police received numerous triple-zero calls from neighbours, but so far no one who saw the fire begin has come forward.

Mr Ash said the reality of the situation was starting to hit him.

"It was my car, and my daughter's car. They're insured but that will take time," he said.

Mr Ash had a substantial collection of guitars in his garage, which all sustained damage.

"It touched every single guitar. There was a one-of-a-kind Jim Beam guitar in there," he said.

"That's the sort of thing insurance can't replace.

"I've closed it (the garage) off. I don't want to think about it. I won't be going in there."

Mr Ash, who has lived in Emerald for five years, said he was thankful he had insurance.

"It's lucky it's all insured, otherwise it would be even worse," he said.

"Now I just have to wait for the insurance people to come and take the cars.

"I'll get a rental in the meantime.

"I have a lot of cleaning up to do, though.

"My car is completely gutted. It's just a shell. It's weird to look at."

Police ask anyone with information to contact the Emerald station on 4983 8100 or Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.


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