Amanda Zukowski was arrested by NSW Police as part of Strike Force Butler. Photo: NSW Police Media
Amanda Zukowski was arrested by NSW Police as part of Strike Force Butler. Photo: NSW Police Media

Murder charge for fatal granny flat fire

JEFFREY Lindsell's parents will never forget the moment they saw their son fully engulfed in flames as he ran out of a burning granny flat to the rear of their home.

They told reporters shortly after the horrific Sydney blaze last October he was screaming for help as a hellish fire ripped through the property.

Mr Lindsell, 39, was rescued from a granny flat on San Remo Avenue, Gymea in the city's south in a critical condition with extensive burns. But, he couldn't be saved and died just two days later.

Eight months on, police have now charged Mr Lindsell's ex-girlfriend Amanda Zukowski with murder.

Detectives allege the 46-year-old tampered with the water supply and deliberately lit the fire in the granny flat knowing Mr Lindsell was asleep inside.

Detectives have been investigating the blaze eight years. Picture: Steve Tyson
Detectives have been investigating the blaze eight years. Picture: Steve Tyson

Ms Zukowski was arrested at her Marrickville home on Thursday morning by detectives from Strike Force Butler, a specialist team formed by the State Crime Command's Arson Unit, tasked with investigating the suspicious fire that killed Mr Lindsell.

Mr Lindsell's elderly parents, who live in the main house, said at the time they woke to a horrific scene.

"We watched our son run out of his burning granny flat - he was on fire," Kathy Lindsell tearfully told reporters.

"At 7am a doctor was telling us our boy was unlikely to survive."

Seven fire trucks and about 35 firefighters were called to the fire and Fire Rescue NSW Superintendent Norman Buckley said at the time that the granny flat had already been gutted by flames when rescuers arrived.

Mr Lindsell was covered in severe burns and was quickly rushed to be treated by specialists at Royal North Shore Hospital at St Leonards.

Amanda Zukowski was arrested by NSW Police as part of Strike Force Butler. Photo: NSW Police Media
Amanda Zukowski was arrested by NSW Police as part of Strike Force Butler. Photo: NSW Police Media

"He received approximately 70 per cent burns, full and partial thickness burns," NSW Ambulance Inspector Greg Price said at the time.

In February, it was revealed that investigators believed the fire was intentionally lit while Mr Lindsell slept.

Officers alleged that two taps had been left running full blast inside the flat, pointing to a second person being present at the time.

Shortly after the announcement Mr Lindsell's mother Kathy Lindsell told Fairfax Media about the devastating impact the nightmarish evening had on her life.

"I've felt sick ever since I was told it may have been deliberately lit," Mrs Lindsell said.

"As far as we knew, Jeffrey didn't have any enemies or anyone that might harm him. But someone knows, and we need that someone to help him."

She was refused bail and appeared at Newtown Local Court, where she was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on 14 August 2018.

Jeffrey Lindsell died two days after the fire. Picture: Supplied
Jeffrey Lindsell died two days after the fire. Picture: Supplied
Mr Lindsell received 70 per cent burns Picture: Steve Tyson
Mr Lindsell received 70 per cent burns Picture: Steve Tyson

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