The devastating scene that confronted St Vinnies staff when they arrived at the Pialba store on Monday morning after an arson attack on three charity bins.
The devastating scene that confronted St Vinnies staff when they arrived at the Pialba store on Monday morning after an arson attack on three charity bins.

Much-needed goods up in flames

VANDALS have set fire to three St Vincent de Paul clothing bins, destroying all the donated items inside during the charity’s busy Christmas season.

Jacky Williams, manager of the Pialba St Vincent de Paul centre, said the fire brigade arrived about 11pm on Sunday and found three of the four bins outside the shop alight.

Ms Williams said a number of goods that were left in front of the bins on Liuzzi Street, including a mattress and lounge chair, were also destroyed.

“These bins are usually full on the weekends with anything that will fit down there – clothing, books and dolls,” she said.

“It’s not real good, especially at this time of year.

“You feel for the people who are donating items in good faith thinking that it is coming to us, not to mention the staff who had to come and find it like that.

“It’s also expensive to replace and this time of year is our busiest.”

Ms Williams said the fire brought back the anger and disappointment felt when the charity’s storage shed on Old Maryborough Road and Hunter Street burnt down in July.

“This was another blow to us and brought back memories from our storage shed fire.

“We really appreciate the support from the public and it is so disappointing to think that someone could do this – not only to our property but also the goods people have donated.”

With about $4000 worth of bins destroyed, St Vinnies has had to recall bins from other parts of town to replace them before the centre shuts down for 12 days over Christmas.

Ms Williams will also have to travel to Gympie to pick up a new bin later this week.

“Even though we have the donation bins there for convenience we would like to encourage people to bring in their donations during opening hours.”

Hervey Bay firefighters said they attended two other fires outside Bay businesses over the weekend.

An industrial bin on the corner of Corser and Murphy streets was set alight about 2am on Sunday and rubbish at the rear of a Boat Harbour Drive pizza store was found alight on Saturday afternoon.



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