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Latest house fire cannot be ruled out as the work of a ‘lone arsonist’

29 May 2022 - 10:10
Security camera footage captured this image of the suspect believed to be linked to arson incidents in Joburg's northern suburbs.
Security camera footage captured this image of the suspect believed to be linked to arson incidents in Joburg's northern suburbs.
Image: Supplied

Andre Snyman of eBlockwatch said a house fire on Friday night in Hurlingham could not be ruled out as being linked to a string of arson attacks on homes in northern Johannesburg.

Fire Ops SA confirmed to TimesLIVE they had extinguished the fire in Hurlingham. The incident occurred while the homeowners were not around, and only expected to return home on Saturday evening.

“We cannot divulge further information as it is possibly a police investigation, and insurers may still be in a process to appoint its own investigators,” said fire chief at Fire Ops SA Wynand Engelbrecht.

Snyman said he inspected the house though and haven’t seen any markings of the lone arsonist. “The room that was burnt was very close to the neighbour’s side but you will never know if it is an arsonist,” he said.

He said they were not ruling out anything as it was suspicious that the incident occurred when the homeowners were away. Snyman posted on Facebook that the house was not far from other homes that had been set alight.

He asked residents living in the area who have cameras to check their footage.

“The one room was burnt slightly, the fire guys got here quickly. There is still a R100,000 reward and all the security companies are very keen to catch this guy,” he said.

In April, Fidelity Services Group offered a R100,000 reward for anyone who can provide the company with information which will lead to the successful arrest and conviction of the alleged arsonist.

Sunday Times reported this month that police have confirmed they are analysing a string of arson attacks on luxury homes in Johannesburg’s most expensive suburbs. “At this stage we can confirm 11 cases with a similar modus operandi,” Gauteng police spokesperson Briga Brenda Muridili told Sunday Times.

“These cases are currently being analysed by provincial detectives so they can be centralised at one level for investigation. They have not yet been allocated to a team. We will have all the details after analysis,” she said, but could not give a time frame.

This week Snyman told TimesLIVE that an elderly Houghton resident Risto Andjelopoli, who was assaulted and locked inside his home before it was set alight last month, had died in hospital.

He said the man’s son had confirmed his father had died.

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