20 December 2023

Man accused of arson attack on Coolac service station to be fitted with ankle monitor

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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A Liverpool man is set to face Cootamundra Local Court in January over a service station fire. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

A 42-year-old man charged with destroying a service station near Gundagai has been released on bail, conditional on wearing an electronic ankle monitor.

Mark Bassal fronted Cootamundra Local Court on Monday (18 December) charged with destroying or damaging property by fire, and was granted conditional bail by Magistrate Don McLennan.

The Liverpool man is required to report to Narellan Police Station three days a week, surrender his passport, not approach or be within 500 metres of Sydney International Airport or other international departure points, and be fitted with an electronic monitoring system at his own expense.

Police said emergency services were called to the Mobil petrol station in Coolac following reports of a fire about 10 pm on 5 September.

More than 30 firefighters from NSW RFS and Fire and Rescue across the Riverina attended the scene to contain the blaze before it reached the fuel bowsers.

service station fire

More than 30 firefighters from across the Riverina worked to contain the inferno that destroyed the Mobil service station at Coolac in September. Photo: NSW RFS South West Slopes Zone.

Despite the efforts of the firefighters, the property was extensively damaged. There were no reports of injuries.

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Riverina Police District officers established a crime scene and began inquiries before State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad Arson Unit took over the investigation under Strike Force Dosed.

Following inquiries by Arson Unit detectives, Bassal was arrested at Narellan Police Station on 6 December.

Magistrate McLennan set Bassal’s next court appearance for 29 January at Cootamundra Local Court.

Investigations under Strike Force Dosed continue.

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