Teen charged over multi-million dollar shopping centre blaze

A TEENAGE boy has been charged over the alleged multi-million-dollar arson of a shopping complex on the NSW Central Coast earlier this year.

The blaze broke out at the complex on Ocean Beach Road at Umina Beach just after 2.00am on Sunday 13 January.

Police say it first started in a barber shop before the flames quickly spread to neighbouring stores and into the roof cavity.


Despite desperate attempts by fire crews, the shopping complex was completely destroyed, with the damage bill estimated to be in excess of several million dollars.

Initial investigations into the blaze suggested that the fire was deliberately lit using an accelerant following a break-in at the barber shop.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested at Woy Woy Police Station about 1.30pm yesterday and charged with damage property by fire.

He was refused bail to appear at a children’s court later today.

Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the fire are continuing.