A man has been charged after allegedly burning his own unit with wood and accelerant, and watching from outside as it went up in flames.
Firefighters were called to the public housing property on Thurgoona Street about 7.45pm on Sunday.
The second storey unit was gutted by flames, with smoke damage caused to other homes in the building.
A 37-year-old man allegedly used methylated spirits to start the fire.
Police say he didn't call Triple-0, despite watching on at the front of the complex while holding his phone.
He was charged with damaging property by fire and released on bail.
The man will return to court on June 15.
NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Stewart Alexander said firefighters quickly brought the incident under control.
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"The fire was knocked down pretty quickly," he said.
"There is some significant damage to the unit.
"The quick action of firefighters limited the damage and stopped the fire going to adjoining units."
The unit block was evacuated.
Superintendent Alexander said fires in multi-storey buildings could be challenging.
"Our first priority is the safety of all the occupants of the unit block," he said.
"They are big unit blocks and there are a lot of residents.
"They were moved to safety.
"Fortunately there were no reported injuries."
Emergency services regularly attend the complex, with a similar fire gutting a unit in January 2016.
Superintendent Alexander said it was important people had working smoke alarms, particularly as more people stay at home and with an increase in the use of heaters as the weather begins to cool.