A MAN who set fire to two Bendigo homes in one day has pleaded guilty to arson charges.
Dwayne Adam Dover appeared at the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to two counts of arson, one charge of attempted arson, and another count of failing to answer bail.
Documents released by the court said about 6.10am on July 3, 2019, Dover used what was believed to be a cigarette lighter to intentionally set fire to a combustible material on a Bendigo porch.
Dover left the address before the fire spread and completely engulfed the bungalow.
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A person was sleeping inside at the time, but was woken by the flames and escaped with only smoke inhalation. A pet cat was killed in the fire.
The blaze was put out but the home was completely destroyed.
Fire investigators identified Dover made two other attempts to set fire to a canvass annex attached to a caravan and rear shed on the property.
Court documents said about 9.40am Dover went to another Bendigo address.
He opened a bedroom window and, using what was believed to a cigarette lighter, set fire to the curtains before leaving the house.
The fire spread and completely engulfed the home. The occupant managed to escape but suffered singed hair and smoke inhalation.
CCTV footage from neighbouring properties captured Dover walking along the street immediately after the fire.
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None of the fires spread to the house and only an air conditioning unit was damaged. No one was home at the time.
Dover was captured on CCTV walking near the property immediately after the attempted arson.
Court documents said a relative spoke to Dover at noon and noted Dover was "being psychotic".
Protective Service Officers later arrested Dover and found him with two cigarette lighters but no cigarettes.
Police interviewed and charged Dover on July 4, 2019. Police said he became agitated during the interview and denied starting the fires.
Court documents said the total damage to the properties was in excess of $250,000.
Dover pleaded guilty to the arson charges and was remanded in custody. He will appear in the County Court in Bendigo later this year.
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