36-year-old Michael Truong from New South Wales, who was accused of lighting a fire in Victoria, has been confronted by furious locals and hit with death threats.
Truong was detained by Johnsonville residents 20kms east of Bairnsdale.
He was approached by suspicious locals, including the captain of Country Fire Authority, after they noticed his car loitering in bushland.
After making observations, the locals said that Truong burned some papers in bushes. Thanks to their immediate action, the blaze was extinguished right away and Truong was arrested by authorities.
According to Daily Mail Australia, the 36-year-old faced-off with a crowd of furious locals when he appeared at Bairnsdale Magistrates’ Court.
He was charged with lighting a bushfire in the fire-ravaged area.
Detective Sergeant Margaret Schulz praised the residents for preventing another disaster. She told Daily Mail Australia: “He was (caught) straight away, because of the location, the neighbours were onto him straight away and they then rang the CFA,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
“It was a very small fire and it’s certainly not linked to what’s going on in relation to all the other fires. All our fires have been started by lightening strikes.”
Truong allegedly attempted to run away from the scene but was apprehended by locals until officers arrived.
“There is no information at this point that he has been responsible for anything else. Obviously he’s got some issues,” Detective Schulz added.
In East Gippsland, over half a billion hectares of land has been burnt out. Many remote communities were left without phone coverage and power and dozens of properties got destroyed.
Three people died in Victoria’s east.
One Facebook user wrote after the arrest: “String him up out the front of the court house.”
Another wrote: “Fire bugs should be dropped in the middle of a bushfire from 30,000ft up. But give them a parachute so they don’t hurt themselves on landing.”
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