Hopes go up in flames after North Albury arson attack

INVESTIGATION: A crime scene officer examines the destroyed caravan in North Albury on Friday morning. Pictures: BLAIR THOMSON

INVESTIGATION: A crime scene officer examines the destroyed caravan in North Albury on Friday morning. Pictures: BLAIR THOMSON

TWO close friends planning to take a final trip away for Christmas have had their plans shattered after an apparent arson attack.

Geoff Howell, 62, has cancer throughout his body and is heavily medicated.

He had planned to take a final caravan holiday with his friend, Lyn Parker, in coming weeks.

GUTTED: The caravan was a twisted mess of melted metal, burnt clothes and destroyed items. The home was also damaged by the blaze.

GUTTED: The caravan was a twisted mess of melted metal, burnt clothes and destroyed items. The home was also damaged by the blaze.

They were both woken by bright lights, followed by a series of loud explosions, as the van was torched next to their North Albury home early Friday morning.

The van was gutted, leaving the pair unable to go to Bermagui as planned.

The fire started to spread to the brick home, causing curtains and other items to melt.

The pair narrowly managed to escape injury. 

“The light from the flames filled up the bedroom like daylight,” Ms Parker said. 

“I’m sick in the stomach.

“I feel really sick and tired, and annoyed.

“You can’t have anything in this area.

“You put anything out there, they take it.

“I was planning on going away with Geoff before he passed away.”

Ms Parker said her shed had been burnt to the ground about 12 months ago.

A home next door had petrol splashed around at the back before being set alight in December 2014.

A Logan Road house was gutted by flames last October and five vacant homes were destroyed in the area in 2009.

“I’ve had enough,” Ms Parker said.

“It’s just getting out of hand now.

“I’m over it, I’m just losing it.”

Neighbours ran to the house as the fire took hold of the caravan about 4.30am and tried to extinguish the blaze. 

“A young bloke had been bashing on the door, he was trying to put it out but the dogs had eaten through the hose,” Ms Parker said. 

“There’s no way it’s not deliberately lit – you can mark my life on it. 

“It didn’t have power connected to it.” 

Ms Parker said the caravan, which was full of clothes and items including a television, was insured. 

She will apply to be moved from the public housing property. 

A forensic officer examined the scene on Friday morning. 

Anyone with information should contact police on (02) 6023 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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