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Houses razed

Monday, 5th January, 2009

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly setting a house on fire in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Police investigations were yesterday underway into the fire that destroyed two Wolfram Street houses. The fire, which started in one of the houses, spread to a neighbouring property and razed both to the ground. Police said yesterday that a police patrol had spotted smoke over the city at about 3am and after tracing the source to Wolfram street, raised the fire alarm. Soon after local fire services arrived, but the properties, one a stone home, were well alight and were eventually completely destroyed. Both properties were owned by the one person. One was rented and the other had been used to store furniture. The tenant of the rented property wasn't home at the time of the fire, but lost possessions in the blaze. Broken Hill detectives arrested a 17-year-old boy yesterday afternoon and he was charged with maliciously setting fire to a dwelling. He was granted bail and will appear in local court on February 10. * * * Earlier in the night licencing police issued infringement notices at a South Broken Hill club that will cost the operators more than $2,000. The notices were issued for allowing minors into the bar area and for failing to comply with licence conditions; that is, allowing minors in an authorised area without supervision. Both carry $1,100 penalties. The club was also fined for failing to have non-members signed in, for failing to have Responsible Service of Alcohol certificates on the premises, and for having a faulty gaming machine. * * * Also on Saturday night, a truck carrying 22 tonnes of Menindee table grapes rolled over just outside the town. The crash occurred at 8.30pm and left the struck straddling the road, forcing the closure of a section of the highway until 6am yesterday. Police, with the assistance of the SES and Menindee Rural Fire Service, created a road diversion around the crash. Police said yesterday that it appeared the prime mover and its enclosed trailer had gone onto the shoulder of the road on a bend about two kilometres north of the town and that the driver had over-corrected and lost control of the vehicle, which then tipped onto its side and slid along the road for 40 to 50 metres. The driver a 46-year-old Robinvale man suffered injuries to his left shoulder and his 65-year-old female passenger suffered minor cuts and abrasions. Both were taken to the Broken Hill hospital for treatment. It is believed that about half the load of grapes was destroyed in the crash. The SES assisted the owners unload the vehicle so that it could be righted by a tow truck.

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