Sawtell Takeaway fire ?suspicious
A FIRE which destroyed Sawtell Seaside Takeaway yesterday is being treated as suspicious by Coffs Harbour Police.
Witnesses told police they heard the sound of glass smashing about 4.40am.
Three men were spotted acting suspiciously near the shop and police said a man was seen pouring liquid from a container inside the business while two others stood nearby.
One man allegedly lit a match and then the shop ignited. Witnesses said the three men walked south along First Avenue away from the scene.
They then got into an early model white sedan, similar to a 1985 Ford Laser. The vehicle was seen heading along Lyons Road, towards the Pacific Highway.
Police said the men are described as being white/European in appearance.
Station commander for Sawtell Fire Brigade, Cr Keith Rhoades, said it was lucky his brigade had been able to reach the blaze before it damaged other properties.
Cr Rhoades said because of an earlier call out to the Big Banana firefighters had been positioned at the station in Sawtell and this meant they arrived at the scene within minutes.
Smoke was seen coming from the roof, back and front of the building. Cr Rhoades said firefighters contained the blaze within five minutes and clean-up operations continued through to mid morning.
"There was extensive damage to the interior of the property and because the walls and floors to the businesses in Sawtell are timber we are lucky we didn't lose other properties," Mr Rhoades said.
Police are appealing for public assistance regarding this fire.
n Anyone with information about the vehicle or the three men are urged to call police on 6652 0299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.