POLICE have thrown high level resources at their continuing investigation into a $1.5 million fire at the Mount Lambie service station on Saturday night.
While just a single officer stood guard at the site yesterday, Chifley Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Mick Aldridge said a full scale investigation was underway and police were speaking with a number of witnesses.
Inspector Aldridge said numerous people had stopped at the fire on Saturday night including those who had gone to the assistance of the injured proprietor, Arie Spek.
But police would particularly like to contact a truck driver who assisted others in Mr Spek’s rescue and then returned to remove Mr Spek’s car from the danger area.
The drama started about 10pm on Saturday as Mr Spek was counting the day’s takings in a residence next to the service station on the Great Western Highway.
Police said Mr Spek answered a knock at the door and was confronted by two unknown men who assaulted him and forced him to the ground.
They bound his hands before entering the service station and driving off a short time later.
Mr Spek soon became aware the building was alight and was helped in his escape by a number of passing motorists who stopped to lend their assistance.
The roadhouse, for decades a popular rest stop for truckies and travellers along the highway, was totally ruined.
Mr Spek was treated at the scene by paramedics and later taken by ambulance to Bathurst Base Hospital for head injury scans. He was discharged on Sunday. Inspector Aldridge yesterday said he was unaware of any substance to claims on Sydney TV that Mr Spek had received threats in the days leading up to the crime.
He said the Mount Lambie Roadhouse was a 24-hour operation most of the time but quite often closed early on quiet trading nights. Saturday was one such quiet night.
Lithgow sector commander Inspector Richard Maddox said Saturday night’s robbery and arson was clearly a very serious crime by criminals with no regard for human life.