Police have established a crime scene in Eaglehawk and arson chemists are currently en route from Melbourne to Bendigo after several overnight fires in the borough – one of which entered into a book store and lit a gas line.
The fires come days after police issued a call to the public for information regarding 11 fires lit in Eaglehawk since Australia Day – including one at a local primary school and one at a sports club.
Bendigo Police Sergeant Jason Bourke said the Crime Investigation Unit was currently investigating a fire lit last night at the Rotary Book Shop on 30 High Street.
“Paper and boxes of books were ignited at the rear of the store,” Sergeant Bourke said.
“The fire destroyed the car port area and partially entered into the rear of the shop.
“Fire also took hold of the gas line at the rear of the shop – but, fortunately, CFA were able to extinguish that and cap the gas line.”
The fire occurred at about 2.20am.
The CIU will also investigate a fire lit earlier that evening in a public toilet in Neangar Park on Napier Street. The incident occurred at about 10pm.
"It looks like toilet paper was used to light the fire, which has melted the plastic walls and caused some superficial damage to the toilet and the toilet cube,” Sergeant Bourke said.
The sergeant said police were not yet treating the two incidents as related.
“But we are concerned given the spate of fires in the area,” he said.
Country Fire Authority firefighters were also called to another fire last night in vacant bush land on Mundy Street.
The fire was lit between the Salvation Army and the train track about 11pm last night, Sergeant Bourke said.
“It looks like it might have been a campfire that got out of hand,” he said.
“Police attended after the CFA extinguished and it looked like camp-style fire, made up of small branches piled up on ground of approximately 50 centimetres by 50cm.”
There was no damage to property from the fire.
Yesterday was a complete fire ban for the region.
Anyone with information should contact the Bendigo Police Station on 5448 1300 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.