FriendlyJordies’ fire: Bondi home destroyed in suspected arson attack, targeted twice in a week


A ‘suspicious’ fire has destroyed the beachside home of popular Australian Youtuber FriendlyJordies, with police suspecting the blaze was deliberately lit. 

Emergency services were called to Wilga Street in Bondi at about 12.30am on Wednesday to find the home engulfed in flames. 

Jordan Shanks-Markovina, known as FriendlyJordies on his popular political commentary YouTube channel, lives at the back of the impacted property but was not home at the time of the fire. 

It was the second suspected arson attack at the home in the past week.

A smaller fire broke out at the Bondi home on November 16 but was able to be put out before it caused any significant damage. 

Firefighters were seen at the home early on Wednesday examining the fire from a ladder while using two hoses to extinguish the blaze. 

Firefighters were called to Wilga Street in Bondi at about 12.30am on Wednesday, where they found the home of Youtuber FriendlyJordies engulfed in flames (pictured)

Jordan Shanks-Markovina, known as FriendlyJordies on his popular political commentary YouTube channel, lives at the back of the impacted property

Jordan Shanks-Markovina, known as FriendlyJordies on his popular political commentary YouTube channel, lives at the back of the impacted property

Two elderly residents escaped the front of the burning property, while another three neighbours evacuated their home next door.

Emergency services confirmed no one was injured during the fire. 

Video from the scene showed the home completely gutted by fire with rooms reduced to ash. 

The closed-off street was filled with emergency service vehicles including police, ambulance, fire and rescue vehicles.   

Concerned residents lined the street and watched as as firefighters tackled the immense blaze. 

Firefighters were seen hosing each other down – a cooling technique used to reduce the core temperatures – once the fire was extinguished. 

NSW Police said they were treating the blaze as ‘suspicious’ and are investigating whether Wednesday’s fire and the November 16 fire are linked.

NSW Police are treating the fire as 'suspicious' and are investigating whether it is linked to a suspected arson attack at the same property

NSW Police are treating the fire as ‘suspicious’ and are investigating whether it is linked to a suspected arson attack at the same property 

Emergency crews were seen using a ladder to examine the fire from above (pictured)

Firefighters on the ground used two hoses to extinguish the blaze (pictured)

Firefighters used a ladder to examine the fire from above (left) while two hoses were used to extinguish the blaze (right)) 

NSW Fire and Rescue Adam Dewberry told reporters specialist forensic police with dogs ‘trained in the use of detecting accelerants’ were at the property investigating the cause of the fire.  

‘The cause and origin of the fire [are] actually being investigated today by specialists who will also make sure the fire hasn’t caused structural damage elsewhere in the home,’ Mr Dewberry said. 

Fire investigators in full personal protective equipment were seen at the home with a police Labrador. 

Neighbour Astrid Rickard said she woke to the sound of the fire but initially thought it was fireworks for the World Cup.

Australia played France in its first game on Wednesday morning with the match kicking off at 6am. 

‘We woke up and I actually thought it was fireworks for the World Cup, but I looked out the living room [window] and basically next door was on fire,’ Ms Rickard said.

‘We quickly got out of the house and grabbed the dog. Lots of people were already out on the street… it was pretty full-on.’

Ms Rickard said the fire ‘took off pretty quick’ because her neighbour’s house is a beautiful old 1930s home built with a lot of wood. 

The sprawling beachside home and a neighbouring property were significantly damaged by the fire. 

The sprawling beachside home, described as a 'beautiful 1930s old home with lots of wood' was significantly damaged by the fire (pictured). A neighbouring property was also damaged

The sprawling beachside home, described as a ‘beautiful 1930s old home with lots of wood’ was significantly damaged by the fire (pictured). A neighbouring property was also damaged 

Neighbour Astrid Rickard initially thought the fire was fireworks for the World Cup but grabbed her dog and evacuated her home when she realised the house next door was engulfed in flames (pictured, left: Ms Rickard with her dog)

Neighbour Astrid Rickard initially thought the fire was fireworks for the World Cup but grabbed her dog and evacuated her home when she realised the house next door was engulfed in flames (pictured, left: Ms Rickard with her dog)

Ms Rickard said she immediately worried the fire was linked to FriendlyJordies.

‘FriendlyJordies lives at the back, so we kind of have a feeling it has something to do with that,’ Ms Rickard said.  

‘This is the second attack in one week, so it is a bit concerning being right next door.

‘Someone has obviously got it out for someone cause this not a normal house fire, this does not just happen, someone’s thrown something in that veranda and got that house on fire.’

Police have urged anyone with information related to the two fires to contact Eastern Suburbs Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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