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Man faces three murder charges over boarding house fire

A man is facing three charges of murder after a fatal fire in a Sydney boarding house.

The 45-year-old was arrested at Surry Hills Police Station on Tuesday night and charged with three counts of murder and one count of destroying or damaging property by fire or explosives.

The ABC has named the man as Richard Holloway, and reports he was a resident of the boarding house.

An explosion at the Newtown two-storey boarding house ignited a fierce blaze early on Tuesday morning, trapping and killing at least three of the residents.

Some 40 firefighters were dispatched to control the fire as eight residents fled.

Three were taken to hospital, including a man in his 80s who remains in a critical condition after jumping from the building and suffering a heart attack as well as serious leg injuries. One of the men has since been released.

The bodies of the three people found inside the building are yet to be formally identified. Police are still trying to work out how many were inside when the fire broke out.

They will continue their search of the ruined property on Wednesday, including entering rooms that have not yet been searched.


Strike Force Tutt will investigate the fire. It includes investigators from the State Crime Command’s homicide squad and the Financial Crimes Squad’s arson unit.

The man was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court on Wednesday.

-with AAP

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