Arson case slows insurance payouts

 Victims of a suspicious blaze unlikely to be compensated until proceedings against Jamie Brown are complete.
Victims of a suspicious blaze unlikely to be compensated until proceedings against Jamie Brown are complete. Alistair Brightman

IT COULD be years before neighbouring businesses of a Hervey Bay store at the centre of an alleged insurance fraud are compensated for smoke and fire damage.

SportFirst was among the unlucky businesses blackened by a suspicious blaze at A1Auto on Boat Harbour Dr in June.

Despite being the victims of the alleged arson, SportFirst owners have been told all payments are on hold pending the outcome of criminal court proceedings against A1Auto's former owner Jamie Brown.

Police allege Mr Brown and at least two others set fire to the store in an attempt to benefit from a $1 million insurance payout.

The 28-year-old was still living locally and had recently become engaged when he was arrested on Monday and charged with arson and fraud.

Raids of his Torquay home allegedly uncovered steroids and pepper spray.

After spending Monday night in the Hervey Bay watchhouse, Mr Brown was released on a $5000 court-imposed bail surety until his October court date.

A 34-year-old Park Ridge man has also been charged with three counts of arson and fraud and will front court next month.

Topics:  arson charges business court fires hervey bay pialba shops

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