The West

Neighbours save home after arson attack
Kumar Manoharan and Jaganathan Govindasamy in the ransacked main bedroom. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Police have praised quick-thinking neighbours for saving a Willetton home set alight during a brazen daylight burglary and arson attack.

Kumar Manoharan had just finished a family lunch about 1.30pm Sunday when his wife smelt smoke over the back fence.

Mr Manoharan identified the Cameron Court home as that of his good friend Jaganathan Govindsamy.

Once he was sure no one was inside, Mr Manoharan and another neighbour began fighting the flames with a garden hose and a pail of water.

“We got it a bit under control before we moved in and started spraying the floor where the papers and files were (burning) and then the roof truss,” Mr Manoharan said. “By the time the firefighters came most of it was out.

“If Jaga was at home I probably would have broke the door and went in. It was great he was not there and he is not hurt.

“Life is more important than losing (material) stuff.”

A grateful Mr Govindsamy arrived home shortly after the fire was extinguished.

He said the fire was largely contained to a rear bedroom though there was smoke and water damage throughout the house.

“Kumar’s appropriate action and speediness saved the home,” he said. “I’m very happy and grateful.”

Det-Sen. Const Rob Seaman, of the arson squad, said the burglary and deliberately lit fire appeared to be random and investigators were struggling to find a motive.

“It appears somebody has broken into the house … ransacked it and lit a fire,” he said. “It was the quick action of the neighbours that stopped the fire spreading further.”

The damage bill is estimated at $100,000.

Any witnesses are asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The West Australian

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