The woman accused of setting fire to her own home to make her ‘get away from the fire’ is accused of being a ‘very unstable person’ who had tried to ‘solve’ the fire with ‘fireball effects’ before turning the blaze into an arson attack.
The fire in Hardriman, in Western Australia’s Pilbara, was sparked by a cigarette packet that caught fire and sparked a massive blaze that killed one person.
The blaze was sparked when a cigarette fell into a rubbish bin and ignited a packet.
Photo: Supplied: Fire crews arrived at the house at about 8.20pm on Sunday to find a man who was unresponsive and was taken to hospital with burns to his face and neck.
Fire crews were called to the scene shortly before midnight.
A witness said he was “not too worried” after he saw smoke coming from the house, which he believed had caught fire from a cigarette.
The woman, who was not named, had allegedly turned the blaze to make herself “get away” from the blaze, police said.
The incident was reported to the Australian National Fire Service (ANFS), which is the state’s fire and emergency services.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the fire had not spread to the house itself.
The ANFS confirmed it was investigating the fire but said it was not yet certain what had triggered the blaze.
A neighbour who was inside the house when the fire broke out described seeing a woman in a “very unstable” state and saying she “was talking nonsense”.
The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the woman had tried setting the fire “to get away from her house” and had tried using “fireballs” to “solve” the fire.
The woman, a 35-year-old woman from Perth, was believed to be homeless and had been staying in a local home.
“She was talking nonsense,” she said.
“I was not sure if it was really her or if she had been trying to solve the fire or something.”
It looked like she was trying to get away, but she was just talking nonsense.
“I saw her go down the stairs and then just started to go down.”
The ANFS said the incident was not believed to have been an arson.
“There is no evidence of the fire ever being deliberately set,” the agency said in a statement.
It said the ANFS was assisting the police with inquiries.
“The ANF has advised that a police investigation into this incident is ongoing,” it said.
In January, the ANF received a call from a woman who said her house had caught on fire.
She said she had tried unsuccessfully to “get the flames out” but her “living room was completely engulfed” and her house was “completely engulfed”.
She had suffered burns to her face and to her neck.
The NSW Police’s Major Incident Response Team said it had received more than 120 reports of fires in the past 12 months.
On Sunday, a WA fire department spokesperson said a fire had been started inside a neighbour’s house and that it was believed the blaze was “out of control”.
“We’re working through all of the reports of the fires and we’re trying to make sure we’re getting the fire under control,” the spokesperson said.