Thief sets surf club alight while destroying stolen property
THOUSANDS of dollars worth of damage has been done to a surf club's radio room after an arsonist's heedless attempt to destroy stolen property.
Brian Ryburn and his son Tony were cleaning Kawana Surf Club after 2am today when the smell of smoke alerted them to a motorised scooter engulfed in flames outside the club's radio room.
"When we got down there we saw the bike on fire, big flames climbing the side of the radio room, blown windows and paint peeling off the wall," Mr Ryburn said.
"My son called emergency services while I grabbed a bucket and started putting out the flames which took me about eight runs.
"My biggest concern was the strong winds causing the ash to fly towards the surf club because I knew the whole thing could go up in flames."
The culprit was nowhere to be seen and it's unknown whether a graffiti tag left on the shed door is related to the incident.
Unbeknown to Mr Ryburn, his actions were critical in preventing an explosion as fuel for the inflatable rescue boats and jetski were kept under the radio room, on the other side of the burning wall.
Surf Club life member Bob Clements said they could have lost the entire surf club had the fire kept burning.
"The fire did thousands of dollars worth of damage as it is, which will be a huge burden to council who owns it," Mr Clements said.
"I think the arsonist chose to do this beside the radio room because there weren't cameras there and the lighting is low to protect the turtles.
"We might need to look at making some changes in the future to protect our club and prevent something like this happening again."
A Queensland Police spokeswoman said the white Honda Dio scooter had been stolen from a Pacific Blvd unit complex between midnight and 2am.
"The offenders entered the driveway where the motorcycle was parked and pushed it 200m down the road to the surf club before setting fire to it," the spokeswoman said.
Police got in touch with the 59-year-old owner of the scooter who confirmed it had been stolen.
Officers attended the club this morning to take photos of the damage.
An investigation is under way and charges are yet to be made.