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Man spotted lighting a fire in a Richmond street

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A pile of hard rubbish was set alight in a Richmond laneway last night.

The blaze began just metres from an apartment building at about 7.30pm.

James, a bystander who filmed the incident, says he saw the man light the fire.

“I’ve come around the corner and I’ve seen a man as he’s lighting the blaze,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“He was standing there, less than half a metre away. He seemed to be warming himself on a cold night.

“It was no more than about half a metre from the cars on either side of the fence.”

An off duty police officer lived in one of the apartment buildings which backed on to the laneway.

He followed the suspected arsonist to a nearby pub, where he proceeded to order a beer before being arrested.

James said he believes the firebug was drug affected.

“It’s very unsettling and concerning. It’s just becoming more and more prolific,” he said.

The fire brigade arrived quickly and put out the blaze.

Police also attended the scene.

Press PLAY below for footage of the incident.

Press PLAY below to hear what James had to say on 3AW Mornings.

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