Moment barbershop goes up in flames
Police have launched a manhunt for at least two people believed to have orchestrated a targeted attack on a Sydney barber shop in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
A car reversed into Fadez at Burwood, in the inner west, before a man ran inside. He is believed to have driven away as the shop went up in flames.
Emergency services were called about 1.25am on Tuesday to reports of a fire in the building. When firefighters arrived minutes later, the shop was engulfed in flames and completely destroyed.
A second car fled the scene at the same time as the first, and police are now calling for witnesses, CCTV or dashcam footage to help them locate the alleged arsonists.
"I know there were members of the public in the vicinity at the time," Superintendent Paul Devaney told media about the "clearly targeted attack" on Tuesday.
"We are appealing for anyone with dashcam vision or who was at the scene at the time to come forward to police."
Graeme Moore, of NSW Fire and Rescue, said fire investigators had been using accelerant-detection dogs at the scene and noted the building was engulfed by flames very quickly.
More than 20 firefighters worked for more than an hour to extinguish the blaze, which had lapped through the roof into an office above.
"It had a very rapid fire development," he said.
"Crews finally handed the scene over (to police) at about four in the morning because they had to go into the building and extinguish the fire in spots."
About $500,000 worth of damage is believed to have been done to the building.
Neighbouring shop owners said the barbershop had been sold "two or three months ago".
Arun Theagesan, who owns the accounting firm on the top floor of the building, said he had seen the new owner every day, but had not got his name.
"He seems like a good guy," Mr Theagesan said.
The accountant believes the attack must have been deliberate as "it's not a place you can go accidentally".
Peter, who works at the cafe next door, said nobody was able to access the shop, and that police had not been forthcoming with any information.
"I still want to know what happened," he said. "Or at least when we can reopen the shop."
Both cars involved in the attack are believed to be silver or grey sedans. One drove west, while another fled east.
The barber shop could not be saved, and police have cordoned off George St between Elsie St and John St as investigations continue.
On Tuesday morning, police and firefighters swarmed the area, with ash and debris pouring out of the taped-off shop and crumbled walls inside.
Officers remained throughout the day, and were seen combing through the wreckage, filling evidence bags about midday.
Originally published as Moment barbershop goes up in flames