Renewed appeal for information over 2017 Sylvania Fruit World fire

Police have released CCTV vision in a renewed appeal for public assistance over a suspicious fire at Sylvania Fruit World in 2017.

About 4.30am on Saturday, August 12, 2017, emergency services were called to a fruit shop on the Princes Highway, Gymea, after reports it was well alight.

Officers from Fire & Rescue NSW attended and extinguished the blaze.

Several residents of nearby buildings had to be evacuated during the operation and the Princes Highway was closed for a short time to allow emergency services access to the premises.

The building received extensive heat and smoke damage as a result of the fire, with a damage bill estimated to be more than $500,000.

Police established Strike Force IGNIS to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

As inquiries continue, police have released CCTV images of two men depicted near the property around the time of the incident.

Police urge anyone with information to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.

In September last year a development application was lodged with Sutherland Shire Council for a  $3.7 million shoptop development on the site.

The project, on Princes Highway, Gymea, includes a fruit shop and two other shops at ground level and three two-bedroom housing units above.

Development application (DA) plans also include a basement car park with a total of 30 car parking spaces, of which 27 will be for retail use and three for residents.

Vehicle access to the car park is proposed via a two-way driveway from Ruby Rd.

The DA said a pre-DA meeting was held with Sutherland Shire Council on November 30, 2017, at which a number of matters were discussed.

The fire, on August 12, 2017 was the second in the premises in four months.

The first fire occurred in April, 2017, causing moderate damage.

In April 2018 police told the Leader “inquiries continue” into the fires, which were said at the time of the blazes to be suspicious.