Buildings burn at night due to cracker vandalism

It reopened at 12:30 p.m

A TAA Viscount aircraft from Canberra was turned back from Mascot at 11pm and a DC4 freighter from Brisbane was forced to land in Williamtown.

The injured – two teenage Manly boys, an 11-year-old boy from Marrickville and an 18-year-old boy from Seven Hills – were treated and allowed to go home.

The two boys injured at Manly were both hit by exploding posts.

One told rescuers that a rock ricocheted off his shirt and exploded, burning his neck and chest.

The other suffered burns to his abdomen after an arrow pierced his sweater and shirt.

The 11-year-old boy from Marrickville was taken to Sydney Eye Hospital after an arrow exploded in his face. He was treated for minor burns and allowed to go home.

William McKenzie, 18, of Second Avenue, Seven Hills, was taken to Parramatta Hospital after a packet of crackers exploded in his left pants pocket.

His leg was badly burned.

Firefighters threw crackers at each other

In several fires, firefighters have had to contend with youths and teenage girls throwing firecrackers at them as they work.

Bonfire Night, Waverley, May 24, 1963

Bonfire Night, Waverley, May 24, 1963Credit: Anthony Lenses

Firefighters were showered with exploding crackers as they risked their lives to enter the disused tenement on the corner of Bourke and Cathedral Streets.

The fire brigade knew that wrecks used the building as a sleeping place.

They searched it at the height of the fire but found it uninhabited.

Firefighters were hit by so many rockfalls fighting a car fire in Liverpool Lane that they called for police reinforcements.

Two truckloads of police drove into the area.

Fire hose cut

On Palmer Street in Woolloomooloo, youths cut a fire hose while firefighters put out a fire that had started in the middle of the roadway.

After being called back to the rekindled fire, stones were thrown at them.

Bonfire Night, Waverley, May 24, 1963

Bonfire Night, Waverley, May 24, 1963Credit: Anthony Lenses

Other youths threw eggs at a press van.

The police warned several men.

This was the known damage last night:

  • The fire at the three storey Goulburn Street tenement building which was due for demolition.
  • The rear of the Liverpool Post Office, badly damaged.
  • Two small buildings at the rear of houses in Alice Street, Newtown have been gutted.
  • The back wall of a house on Lawdale Avenue, North Rocks, caught fire.
  • The living room and contents of a house in Woolwich were badly damaged.
  • A water board shed in Ermington and a disused boat shed in Drummoyne were destroyed.
  • Destruction of seven cars, some of which appeared to have been abandoned.

Many fires were intentionally lit

Minor damage was also sustained at a school in Lugarno and a club in Canterbury.

Firefighters responded to more than a hundred more calls because the campfires were out of control, burning poles and trees.

They were still busy this morning compiling their papers.

The public conduct warnings were issued because two people were killed and dozens others injured last Commonwealth Day.


Mr Simpson said on April 2 that the events of Commonwealth Night this year would decide whether there would be a full or partial ban on fireworks in New South Wales.

Superintendent Jardine said Thursday the future of the celebrations depended on public behavior.

He warned the public that lighting firecrackers or bonfires on public roads is illegal. They would only be allowed on private property or where city councils had allowed them in parks.

Justin Scaccy

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