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Vic firebug's trail of destruction

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016 Melissa Meehan

ARSONIST'S $4 MILLION DAMAGES BILL

Former Metro Trains worker and CFA volunteer Nicholas Archer's trail of destruction that caused almost $4 million damage:

2009

* November 24 - Started a fire at Newport Steam Rail Museum after being told he was too young to work there.

2013

* October 22 - Placed debris on railway tracks between Seaholme and Westona railway stations putting passengers at risk.

2015

* March 4 - Destroyed by fire two heritage-listed warehouses in Newport and four 100-year old train carriages being restored by Steam Rail Victoria - where he was a member for about seven years.

When finally arrested he made full admissions to police telling them of this incident: "I don't know why I did that, I really liked working at that place".

* June 16 - Started a fire in the communications room of the Clonbinane CFA where he was a volunteer and lived only 100 metres away. Hailed a hero for saving the truck by those who didn't know he started the fire.

* July 12 - Placed a motorised scooter on tracks as a train approached at Spotswood before starting work at Metro Trains. Was called to help assess and repair the damage.

* July 22 - Accessed a Signal Hut at Newport and severed signal wires and cables - cutting off the Werribee line. Did the same thing at Sunshine later that day. Later that night he started two fires in the Signal Hut at Tottenham.

Later told police he wasn't in the "right frame of mind".

* August 8 - Lit two fires at sheds in Newport destroying vintage steam trains and carriages.

Later told police he was "having a bad night and not thinking straight".

* November 11 - Derailed a train at Hurstbridge - damage exceeding $2.5 million.

* November 21 - Cut wires at Newport railway signal control room causing network chaos in the west.

* December 17 - Drove to a remote area of Mount Disappointment National Park and started a fire by burning a camping chair, cans and rags in a gully.

* December 19 - Lit seven scrub and grass fires using a lighter at Taradale in an area spreading over 10 kilometres. Several locals were evacuated.

2016

* January 17 - Lit grass fire in Clonbinane, waited nearby for a call so he could fight the fire.

* January 21 - Lit grass fire off Epping-Kilmore Road, waited nearby for a call so he could fight the fire.

* February 3 - Started three grass fires in Kilmore by lighting sparklers and throwing them out of his car window. Was called to assist CFA.

* February 9 - Destroyed, by fire, a signal hut belonging to the Australian Rail Track Association at Tottenham. It was the second time he started a fire at this hut.

* February 13 - Started fire at Yarraville used tyre factory. Was pulled over by patrolling police soon after and admitted to starting the fire. Was arrested and charged.

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