Police suspect the fire that gutted a $24 million Sydney Harbour mansion earlier this month was the work of an arsonist.
Flames reaching 20 metres high rose from the inferno at the six-bedroom, heritage-listed home at Northwood on Sydney’s Lower North Shore on the night of September 3.
The home which sold for $24m last year, and is the oldest in the suburb, was left in ruins. No one was inside at the time of the blaze.
Police forensic officers have determined the fire was deliberately lit. Arson squad investigators have released CCTV footage from the street of a person seen approaching the house and then fleeing as the home ignites.
The man, dressed in dark clothing, can be seen on Cliff Road, Northwood a short time after the fire started, police said.
Investigators are urging anyone who may have dashcam footage from vehicles driving along, or parked on Cliff Road, on September 3 to contact police.
Firefighters who attended the blaze worked hard in strong winds to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring properties.
“They immediately got to work and protected those properties, whilst our two crews did a very quick search to see if anyone may have been inside,” Jim Murphy from Fire and Rescue NSW said after the fire was contained.
Neighbour Wayne Rigney described the scene as "apocalyptic".
"There was a huge firestorm and it raged for, I'm going to say, 40 - 50 minutes," he told Channel 9's Today.
The house, built in 1915, sold in November 2021 for $24,100,000, and featured six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a three car garage and a tennis court on a 4847 square-metre block.
The property also included a boat house on the water, a library and a cellar.
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Lenghwise investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.