Police investigate suspected arson attack at a Docklands restaurant

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Brendan Rees

A Docklands restaurant that went up in flames during the early hours of November 18 was suspected to have been targeted by arsonists twice within three days, according to Victoria Police.

Emergency services were called to the blaze at the Karizma restaurant on NewQuay Promenade after fire alarms were set off about 2.40am. The fire caused significant damage to the venue, with about 60 people safely evacuated from the overhead apartments.

“The offenders struck a second time, setting fire to the restaurant again, which was completely destroyed shortly after 2am on  November 20,” Victoria Police said.

Residents who were again forced to evacuate made a lucky escape. Detectives from the Arson and Explosives Squad are investigating and are looking at whether the two incidents are linked to other fires across Melbourne relating to the illegal tobacco trade, “however it is still too early to say at this time”.

Police have taped off the front of the business with charred rubble inside and broken glass visible from the footpath.

It’s understood the restaurant is owned by convicted drug boss Fadi Haddara.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, with CCTV/dashcam footage or information that could assist investigators are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. •

 

Caption: Police have taped off the Karizma restaurant on NewQuay Promenade. Photo: Brendan Rees.

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