Man, 18, charged with five counts of arson after allegedly burning cars, bins in Raymond Terrace

A man charged with five counts of malicious damage by fire (arson) after allegedly setting fire to cars and bins in Raymond Terrace earlier in December was due to appear in court on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old man was arrested in Waratah West, within Newcastle, on Monday following police inquiries into a series of fires that were allegedly deliberately lit in Raymond Terrace across four days in December.

About 9.15pm on Thursday, December 12 police were called to a dance studio in Port Stephens Street on reports that it was well alight after fire spread to the building from a burning garbage bin.

The fire was extinguished but the building sustained major damage, police said.

On the evening of Saturday, December 14, two bins were allegedly set alight in William Street.

The following evening, on Sunday, December 15, emergency services were called to Port Stephens Street, on reports that two cars were alight.

Police said the fire caused damage to a nearby building.

About 1am on Wednesday, December 18 another vehicle was allegedly set alight in the carpark off Sturgeon Street. The fire was extinguished, however, the blaze caused damage to a nearby shed, police said.

Detectives from the Port Stephens-Hunter Police District launched an investigation into the series of fires.

Following inquiries, an 18-year-old man was arrested in Waratah West on Monday, December 30.

He was taken to Waratah Police Station where he was charged with five counts of malicious damage by fire (arson).

He was refused bail and was due to appear in Newcastle Local Court today on Tuesday, December 31.

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