Fire suspect airlifted to hospital

A 48 year-old homeless man who police believe was involved in two suspicious fires in Canberra has been airlifted to hospital with serious burns early this morning. 

ACT Fire and Rescue and ACT Rural Fire Service attended a grass fire located in a pine forest near Tuggeranong Parkway and Lady Denman Drive after 5am this morning and extinguished the blaze at approximately 6.30am.

Police spoke to a number of witnesses on site and received reports of a man attempting to start a fire in the area.  After a short search, police found the man who appeared to have suffered burns to his throat, chest and arms.

ACT Ambulance Service transported the man to The Canberra Hospital where he was treated. However, due to the seriousness of his injuries he was later transported to Sydney’s Concord Hospital.

Acting Officer-in-Charge of Woden Police Station Sergeant Louise Denley says police believe the man is also linked to a fire yesterday afternoon near Yarralumla Creek on Lady Denman Drive and will speak to the man when his condition improves.

“We are urging anyone with information on either fire to please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. The man always has his dog with him, a small white dog with black markings. If you recall seeing a man with a dog around the time of the fires, please contact us,” says Sergeant Denley.

Anyone with information regarding either of these incidents, who has not yet spoken to police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.act.crimestoppers.com.au. Information can be provided anonymously.

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