Source: The Mercury, 28 February, 2001, p.??

Tree blaze empties the courts


A FIRE, believed to have been 
deliberately lit, forced the 
evacuation of the Supreme 
Courts in Hobart yesterday. 
   The blaze started just after 
4pm in a cypress tree about 10m 
from the court building. 
It quickly spread to adjoining 
trees and threatened to enter the 
court building roof. 
   Hobart Fire Brigade Station 
Officer Greg Butters said the 
priority was to protect the 
building and stop the fire 
spreading into the nearby 
guttering and roof cavity. 
Two windows were cracked 
and smoke damaged the outside 
wall and rooms of the building. 
   Because of the abundance of 
dead material in the 20m tall 
cypress, Mr Butters said the 
blaze was intense and quickly 
engulfed nearby trees. 
   Police said the incident was 
suspicious and witnesses were 
asked to contact Crimestoppers. 
   The spectacular fire drew a 
large crowd of onlookers from 
nearby offices. 
   Mark Skelton, Hobart City 
Council Parks and Landscape 
manager, said four trees between 
30 and 60 years old were 

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