Police allege not only did the man deliberately light the fires, he then also responded to fight eight of the nine he is alleged to have lit.
“His fire brigade (was) unable to attend the ninth fire due to already being engaged in responding to another of the fires he is alleged to have lit,” WA Police say.
The man, aged 19, is alleged to have started fires around Western Australian suburbs – including at Wooroloo, near Perth, where a home was destroyed over Christmas.
Police allege the man deliberately set the fires across a four week period between Thursday, December 23 2021 and Saturday, January 15 this year.
During the blazes, a 77-year-old’s century-old home was destroyed in minutes, while six other structures were also charred.
Dozens were forced to evacuate, sending Christmas plans into disarray.
Police say the man is also allegedly responsible for fires along Old Northam Road at Wooroloo, Old Northam Road at Beechina and at Breeze Road in Gidgegannup.
He was arrested by Strike Force Vulcan yesterday in Wundowie, and has been charged with nine counts of ‘Wilfully light a fire likely to injure or damage’.
He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court later today.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years imprisonment.