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Daylight arson attack

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Fire crews rushed to fi ght the Bavin Street blaze.
Fire crews rushed to fight the Bavin Street blaze. Photo: Chris Howden

Patricia Gill, Denmark Bulletin

A 67 year old Perth man is in jail accused of starting a fire which burnt a house in Bavin Street causing about $400,000 damage about 11am last Wednesday.

Jacob (Jack) Ammoun appeared in court soon afterwards and will reappear in the Albany Magistrate’s Court on June 30. He is charged with criminal damage by fire.

The owners of the house, Ulrike Danks and Roderick Bartholomeusz, were away at the time visiting friends and family in their caravan and returned to find their home all but burnt to the ground.

They are now living in their caravan and are full of praise for the quick action and kindness of local police and emergency services and the community.

“The Denmark community is a beautiful place to be and to experience that,” Ms Danks said.

Photo courtesy Denmark Bulletin

Police are calling for information about a red 2021 model Audi believed to have been seen in Bavin Street, and in the Shadforth, Denmark and Walpole areas in the lead up to the fire.

Police will allege that accelerant was used to start the fire and by the time they arrived at the scene the front veranda of the house was ablaze.

Ms Danks said the fire had destroyed their home of 30 years which had been renovated and extended over the years to accommodate visits from family and friends.

Ms Danks immigrated to Australia from Germany in 1972 bringing with her lithographs her father had collected along with family artworks.

She had lost what she described as the ‘physical signs of my European heritage’.

This included an 1835 carved wedding trunk belonging to one grandmother and a mahogany chest belonging to another.

Along with other losses had been stained glassworks by the late Andy Ducker and a collection of artworks by friends, many of whom are regular exhibitors at the Butter Factory Studios.

Photos: Denmark Bulletin.

“Our house was a piece of artwork, a beautiful, beautiful family home,” Ms Danks said.

“Emotionally, it was a life.”

Ms Danks said she and Mr Bartholomeusz would start again in building a smaller house.

The Bavin Street property is insured.

“Without that it would have been much more devastating,” Ms Danks said.

She had been touched at a call from a fire fighter telling her that the vegetable garden and fruit trees had been saved.

“Beautiful touches like that from official people have been just amazing,” she said.

“People have offered help from the bottom of their hearts.

“This community works so well when people have misfortune.”

Denmark Bulletin 16 June 2022

The article appeared in the Denmark Bulletin, 16 June 2022.

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