Image copyright AP Image caption The woman threw two jars of what she believed was cleaning fluid into an electrical box
An Australian woman has been charged with starting a fire that heavily damaged a quarantine hotel in Sydney.
The woman, in her 40s, threw two jars of what she believed was cleaning fluid into an electrical box at the Sydney Centre for Livestock Exports.
The fumes caused the fire in an attached room that investigators said proved to be entirely the woman’s fault.
No one was injured in the incident on Saturday.
The blaze made its way through the attic and into the space below, before engulfing a wall.
Image copyright AAP Image caption The fire marshal said the woman had been cooking with phosphoric acid
Initially, the woman was arrested and taken to The Hills Police Station, where she was charged with lighting a fire in a vacant building and arson in a confined space.
Her bail conditions were released on Sunday, and she has been bailed to appear in a Sydney court on 19 July.
The incident started with her “cooking with phosphoric acid” and sparked a suspected electrical fault in a room, the fire marshal said.
Image copyright ACT Police Image caption Investigators said a phosphoric acid-like liquid had caused the fire in the loft
“It turned on some electronic elements in the roof. And then, from there, the electrical caused the fire,” Peter Bate told the ABC.
“The next day, one fire extinguisher and one hose line didn’t work enough and, by then, the flames had engulfed the entire roof, the room below, the back wall.”
The property was part of a quarantine zone that is used to control the movement of animals, such as sheep.