Click across the above image for CCTV footage.
AN arsonist on the loose in Albury forced firefighters to attend four fires in an hour on Wednesday night.
Police are investigating the trail of destruction, including thousands of dollars’ damage to The Bended Elbow’s cool room refrigeration unit.
An industrial bin was set alight behind the pub about 11.20pm. It quickly spread to the outside of the building.
Owner Gavin Grant yesterday counted himself lucky.
“It could have turned bad really fast,” he said.
“It was just a string of good luck that the security guard arrived minutes after the fire started and the firefighters were quick to respond,” he said.
Security footage from The Bended Elbow shows a man wearing a red baseball cap, a black T-shirt, shorts, and white trainers. He was carrying a backpack.
The footage captures the man, who had a torch, walking around to the back of the pub and into an alleyway. When he emerges, the footage shows the glow of a fire behind him. Police are studying the footage.
Earlier in the night, the Albury Civic fire brigade was called to a fire in a wheelie bin in Cahill Place, off Thurgoona Street.
Residents helped the firefighters put out the fire.
Station captain John Vandeven said firefighters had then spotted flames rising high in the sky in the direction of the Albury Botanic Gardens — a 100-year-old fan palm had been set on fire.
“It’s a senseless act of vandalism,” Mr Vandeven said.
“The palm tree was planted all those years ago for people’s pleasure.”
Then, not long after the fire crew had returned to the station, it was called again, this time machinery that had been set alight in David Street.
An excavator being used by Wagga Directional Drilling to install underground services was well ablaze and could not be saved.
Company employee Ben Andrews was shocked to find the $40,000 piece of equipment burnt out.
“We are waiting on another one to arrive so we can get on with it,” he said.
“It has put us back a couple of hours.”
While firefighters were putting that fire out, the call came through for the blaze behind The Bended Elbow.
Anyone with information should phone Albury police on (02) 6023 9299 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.