Homeless drifter hauled from court accused of deliberately starting blaze in fire-ravaged Australia

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A HOMELESS drifter is hauled from court yesterday accused of starting a blaze in inferno-ravaged Australia.

Michael Truong, 36, was handed to police by furious bushfire victims in Johnsonville, Victoria, amid online calls to “string him up”.

Drifter Michael Truong, 36, is hauled from court yesterday accused of starting a blaze in inferno-ravaged Australia
Locals claimed to have spotted Truong setting fire to paper in thick scrub, which burst into flames on contact before they managed to extinguish the blaze

An angry crowd then threatened him during his appearance at nearby Bairnsdale Magistrates’ Court.

Truong was held by suspicious residents – including a Country Fire Authority captain – who spotted his New South Wales-licensed vehicle near tinder-dry bush.

Locals claimed to have spotted him setting fire to paper in thick scrub, which burst into flames on contact before they managed to extinguish the blaze.

Truong fled but was pursued by the residents who performed a citizens’ arrest and detained him until police arrived.


Police believe Truong had been living rough in his car for some time and it remains unclear why he had travelled south to the disaster zone.

One angry comment on Facebook read: “String him up out the front of the courthouse”.

At least 24 people have been charged with arson in New South Wales alone since the start of the “fire season” crisis in September.

© Commonwealth of Australia

At least 24 people have been charged with arson in New South Wales alone since the start of the ‘fire season’ crisis in September.[/caption]

The fires have destroyed dozens of vehicles in and around Sydney with burned shells dotted across the city
Getty Images – Getty
A brave fire crew in New South Wales tackles the flames head-on
Getty Images – Getty
Helpless residents look on as flames burn through the bush
Getty Images – Getty

New York Times

Fires continue to burn and wreak havoc across Australia[/caption]

Heartbreaking images show Aussie firefighter’s daughter playing by his coffin
Hero firefighter Andrew O’Dwyer is laid to rest after falling victim to the ferocious fires consuming much of Australia
EPA


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