Child among residents to flee suspicious unit fire
LATEST: A child and three adults managed to escape a suspected arson attack at an East Toowoomba unit early this morning.
The Margaret St unit block remained a crime scene as specialist investigators combed through the damaged apartment after the fire about 3.05am.
Toowoomba Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Paul McCusker said the exact point of origin of the fire was yet to be determined.
He said the Margaret St unit was extensively damaged but the occupants - a child and three adults - managed to escape uninjured, along with residents in the neighbouring units.
"Very fortunately everyone got out from the flat and the other flats around it," Snr-Sgt McCusker said.
"This event could have caused a loss of life.
"There's quite a lot of structural damage and (it is) quite fortunate there're no other persons injured."
Paramedics assessed three people at the scene but did not transport anyone to hospital.
Scenes of Crime officers and fire investigators were today working to identify what sparked the blaze, but initial examinations suggested a motorbike in the ground-level garage may have been set alight.
Police were also investigating whether an object was thrown onto the unit's veranda.
Snr-Sgt McCusker said the fire was believed to have been deliberately lit, and appealed for people in the area to come forward with information.
"We believe at this stage there are other persons involved in this fire," he said.
"Although it is around three in the morning, there could be people going about their normal work at that time.
"We ask any members of the public in the area at the time, probably between five to three and half past three and may have seen cars leaving the scene or any other persons on foot, to come forward."
Information can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
9.30AM: Detectives investigating a fire at an East Toowoomba unit complex are treating it as suspicious and are appealing for information.
Toowoomba Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Paul McCusker said the Margaret St unit complex had been declared a crime scene as investigations continued.
"Police are treating it as suspicious," he said.
"We believe there is some other force in play."
Scenes of Crime officers and fire investigators returned to the complex this morning in an effort to identify the cause of the blaze.
One unit at the rear of the complex which fronts Margaret St is understood to have been badly damaged.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Acting Inspector Darrin Kerr said four crews responded to the fire which was initially reported as being in the car park area under the units.
"On further investigation (it was found) a unit was fully involved in fire," he said.
"Crews quickly brought the fire under control. All persons that were inside had got out of the building prior to the arrival (of firefighters).
"The firefighters did a fantastic job. The amount of damage was probably limited due to the professionalism and speed of the responding fire services."
Snr-Sgt McCusker appealed for anyone who saw anything in the area around the time of the fire, between 3am and 3.20am, to contact police.
He urged nearby residents or passing motorists who saw any vehicles in the area at that time to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
EARLIER: A CRIME scene has been declared at an East Toowoomba unit after an early morning fire.
The Margaret St unit complex has been taped off as investigations get under way into the cause of the blaze which broke out about 3.10am.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said crews reported the unit was "well involved" when they arrived on scene.
The fire was contained to the unit by 3.45pm.
Queensland Ambulance paramedics assessed three people at the scene but they did not require treatment at hospital.
Paramedics remained on standby for QFES.
Police and fire investigators are working to determine the cause.
A Toowoomba police spokesman said the cause was as yet undetermined.