Rebekah Cavanagh, Tom Minear, Cheryl Balfour,
28 January 2014
TWO teenagers who are suspected of deliberately lighting a grassfire have handed themselves into police.
The 16-year-old boy and girl are being interviewed by Whittlesea CIU detectives.
A young boy, who was with the couple when they allegedly lit the fire while walking home, was also speaking to investigators, Victoria Police spokeswoman Leonie Johnson said.
Police said the young couple’s alleged reckless actions could have killed the trio and others who were living and working in neighbouring properties and businesses.
They face charges of intentionally or recklessly causing fire, which comes with a maximum 15 years’ jail time, and would be charged as minors.
The pair were spotted walking with a boy no older than five years old through the grassland off Harvest Home Rd in Epping shortly before the fire started last Tuesday about 3pm.
Still images of CCTV footage of two teens, taken from a BP service station at the corner of Harvest Home Rd and High St, was released today in the hope they could be identified.
“The alarming thing is they have taken the child with them into the paddock and the fire has escalated quickly out of control,” Epping Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior-Constable Paul Mullenger said.
“Our concern is that the guys responsible and the child could have been killed.
“The fire was toward the southern end of the paddock and the potential for property damage and loss of life was fairly significant.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au