The blaze that caused damage to the Lansdowne Hotel on Friday has been confirmed as being deliberately lit say police, who have charged a woman for the extensive damage caused to the the third floor of the venue.
Firefighters and police were called to the iconic Sydney music pub last week after a fire broke out in the accommodation quarters of the venue in the early hours of the morning.
Around ten people were evacuated from the blaze after a fire broke out in a room on the third floor of the venue at approximately 8am. The Lansdowne -with their tagline of ‘Love Your Music’ – is a popular local in the area, regularly hosting gigs from local and up-and-coming acts.
Though initial reports suggested there were occupants trapped inside, firefighters later searched every room in the building, finding no bodies. Fire officers confirmed on Friday that there were no injuries reported as they led ten evacuees to safety.
The Lansdowne’s manager Michelle Gonzales revealed after the blaze was under control that the pub has “been having a lot of domestic fights lately,” and believed that someone may have set the fire deliberately during a dispute with other tenants.“The fire was restricted to the boarding rooms, and thankfully nobody was injured.” – Ben Walsh, Lansdowne Hotel
Resident Sabrina Valice also told press she reported seeing a small piece of cardboard that had been set alight, she’d attempted to put out the flames with a “the fire extinguisher but by that time the fire was at my window,” she said.
Following Gonzales’ hunch, Valice’s statements, an investigation by local detectives, a 23-year-old woman who has not been named was arrested yesterday afternoon. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, she’s been charged with damaging property by fire, and threatening to destroy or damage another person’s property.
The woman has been granted bail and is due to face Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 6th February where police will allege that she started the fire after a dispute between a number of people living at the pub.
The flames damaged the balcony and two bedrooms on the third floor of the pub, but Lansdowne Hotel owner Ben Walsh says that most of the damage is cosmetic.
“The fire was restricted to the boarding rooms, and thankfully nobody was injured,” Walsh told TheShout. “Crews are now going through assessing the damage.”
“Despite reports, there was actually not a lot of fire damage – it is all cosmetic. The main problem is water damage to all floors.”
The pub is currently closed while police continue their investigation but Walsh estimates that they could reopen in a matter of weeks.