Seville tobacco shop set alight as car crashes through shopfront

A Seville tobacco shop was set alight after being rammed by a vehicle on Sunday morning. Picture: ROCHELLE POULTON

By Callum Ludwig

Detectives will investigate following a fire at a tobacconist store in Seville in the early hours of Sunday 11 February.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said it’s believed the offenders drove a vehicle into the shop front window before it caught alight and fled the scene in another waiting vehicle.

“Emergency services were called to the Warburton Highway property after a passer-by noticed the blaze just before 1.55am,” they said in a statement.

“Nobody was physically injured during the incident.”

An arson chemist attended the scene later on Sunday morning.

In a post on Facebook, the Seville Rural Fire Brigade detailed how quickly the information received by emergency services developed.

“At 1.54am we were paged to a car fire in Seville,” it reads.

“At 1.55am we were paged to a car into a shop,”

“At 1.57am we were paged to a car into a shop, possible persons trapped.”

The Wandin, Hillcrest, Gruyere and Yellingbo (rehab unit) fire brigades also arrived soon on the scene to assist.

First Lieutenant at Seville CFA Rob Groiss was the incident controller said when they arrived shortly after 2am, it was clear that the car was driven deliberately into the building.

“The place was well alight and there’s a priority of safety for potential casualties and any rescues that might need a happen, even though it was obvious it was deliberate, we have to make sure there’s no one in the car,” he said.

“I assumed control and asked the crews that were in the first two trucks to put on their breathing apparatus and make sure that there was no one in the car and then they can continue with the main firefight.”

CFA crews didn’t leave the scene until about 5am.

Mr Groiss said the incident had unfortunately caused the complete loss of the tobacconist.

“On top of that, the exposures on either side being Branded Burgers and the dentist, they sustained substantial smoke and heat damage and also water damage through the adjoining ceiling from a burst water main which extended to the newly opened medical centre that was next to the dentist as well,” he said.

“That’s a further three shops that were affected through no fault of their own, which is really really sad for the community, Branded’s new owners were just taking over the business and now they’ve got to deal with this, so it’s really disappointing.”

Seville CFA’s Facebook post said the skills required to respond to an incident like this include but are not limited to;

Sourcing and setting up a permanent water supply

Ensuring there are sufficient appliances paged and sufficient breathing apparatus (BA) crews in those appliances

Setting up BA support to manage crews and gear

Thermal imaging cameras to check for hot spots in adjacent shops and roof spaces

Gaining access to buildings when entries are locked

Paging the Yellingbo rehab unit to care for firefighters’ health and well-being

Ventilation techniques were used to help remove smoke and potentially toxic gases from buildings

Police are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the fire or who may have CCTV or dash-cam footage.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or