Man allegedly danced around College Grove fire

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Police allege the man piled up sticks before using a cigarette lighter to spark a blaze.
Camera IconPolice allege the man piled up sticks before using a cigarette lighter to spark a blaze. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A man allegedly danced around a fire he had started in bushland in College Grove before telling concerned residents it was “all under control” as they tried to put out the blaze.

Police allege Keagan Christopher James Miller, 34, of South Bunbury walked into bushland at Manea Park yesterday afternoon and piled up sticks before using a cigarette lighter to spark a blaze.

The blaze started near the corner of Somerville Drive and Winthrop Avenue about 5pm when a total fire ban was in place.

A member of the public approached with a fire extinguisher to which Mr Miller allegedly said “all under control, don’t panic” before adding more wood.

Mr Miller then allegedly said “I’m outta here” before he ran into bushland upon hearing emergency response sirens.

He was arrested about an hour later when patrolling police saw him walk out of bushland.

Mr Miller appeared in Bunbury Magistrates Court today charged with wilfully lighting a fire likely to injure or damage.

The court was told, Mr Miller told police he was camping in the bush and was starting a fire to cook some food, but police say he had no camping equipment or food.

Magistrate Belinda Coleman warned the maximum penalty for such an offence was 20 years prison and said given Mr Miller was facing an immediate jail term and it was “highly likely” he would not answer his bail, it was refused.

The matter was adjourned until next month.

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