Man charged over arson incidents

Man charged over arson incidents
Brendan Rees

A 29-year-old man has been arrested after a series of alleged arson incidents in the CBD and West Melbourne in December.

Queensland police arrested James McArdle in Cairns on January 7 after a warrant was issued for his arrest in December in relation to a suspicious fire investigation.

Two of the alleged incidents involved a car fire at a Little Lonsdale St car park at around 5.10pm on December 22, as well as a fire at a Mercantile Place business at around 6.30pm on the same evening.

Other alleged fires, three of which involved cars, occurred in West Melbourne between December 3 and December 16.

Investigators travelled to Cairns on January 9 to apply for McArdle’s extradition to Melbourne.

He is expected to face 17 charges including seven counts of arson, unlawful assault and commit indictable offence while on bail.

It’s also expected he will be interviewed in relation to seven further fires.

Investigations continue into the series of fires.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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