POLICE and fire crews were confronted by a man wielding a sword and hammer who stood on his front verandah yelling threats during yesterday’s siege.
Emergency services converged on the property, opposite Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School, after receiving a triple-0 call at 1.50am.
Hill Street, between Byng and March streets, was cordoned off while police tried to calm the 35-year-old Orange man.
At least one neighbour was evacuated from her home, with the fire burning next door.
Police initially held fire crews back from entering the property due to threats of violence from the man.
“He was barricading himself in so they couldn’t go in and put the fire out,” neighbour Regina Fogarty said.
Despite the heightened police presence, the man escaped, triggering a police search of the area.
Canobolas Local Area Command Inspector Gerard Powell said several weapons were found at the scene including a sword, knife, hammer and a plastic replica gun.
Fire crews were twice called back to the property yesterday.
Fire and Rescue NSW crews said the fire reignited from smouldering embers burning in the house’s wall cavity.
There is extensive damage at the rear of the property and smoke damage throughout the house.
Late yesterday, the man had been assessed at Orange Health Service and was deemed medically fit.
Police expect to lay charges soon.