Shiarna Palmer surveys her burnt out wreck yesterday after she and fellow Arthur St unit block residents were evacuated.
Shiarna Palmer surveys her burnt out wreck yesterday after she and fellow Arthur St unit block residents were evacuated. Trevor Veale

Cars torched in Arthur Street

SHIARNA Palmer awoke in shock yesterday and dashed to safety when she was told about a fire at her apartment building.

The early morning disturbance turned into distress for the Coffs Harbour 22-year-old when she discovered her unregistered Mitsubishi Colt was alight underneath her Arthur Street unit.

She was among as many as 20 bleary-eyed residents, some of them elderly, who fled to safety just before 3am.

“I came downstairs and someone asked who owns the white car,” Shiarna said.

“I said, ‘I do’.

“It’s pretty crazy. I had my cat in my arms attacking me.”

The Colt was parked in a downstairs carport and was destroyed in the blaze, along with the contents including stools belonging to her partner’s late grandmother, speakers and household furniture. Thankfully, Shiarna has another car she can use.

The fire also consumed a Toyota RAV4 parked alongside and the carport sustained serious smoke and heat damage.

Residents believe the cars were torched, with a security guard reporting seeing males running through the nearby Park Beach Plaza car park at the time.

Resident Michael Dillon was first alerted to the drama when the smoke alarm shrilled in his apartment.

He grabbed his three young children – Isaac, Chelsea and Dakoda – and his fiancee, Kristy Munday, and fled outside.

“We also heard some bloke yelling out ‘get out there’s a fire,” said Michael, 28.

“We banged on everyone’s door to raise the alarm.

“When we were all standing out the front we heard a loud bang and the smoke was bellowing for miles.

“The unit above the garage was filling with smoke.

“I can’t believe it. This is shocking.”

The fire brought back bad memories for Michael and his family whose VS Commodore caught fire on Hogbin Drive four months ago.

If you saw suspicious activity in Arthur Street about 2.30am yesterday, contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299.



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