27 October 2021

Two teenage boys dealt with over Kenmore Hospital fire in Goulburn

| James Coleman
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Kenmore Hospital on fire

Fire crews battled the blaze for five hours on Saturday, 16 October. Photo: Fire & Rescue NSW.

NSW Police have reported that two teenage boys have been dealt with under the Young Offenders Act following inquiries into a large structural fire at a disused hospital in Goulburn.

At about 4:45 pm on Saturday, 16 October, emergency services were called to the old Kenmore Hospital complex (also known as the Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital) at Taralga Road following reports of a building fire.

A resident on Wollondilly Avenue said they heard a “boom” at around 4 pm before coming outside and seeing the fire.

READ ALSO Heritage-listed Kenmore Hospital in Goulburn goes up in flames

Crews from both Fire & Rescue NSW and Rural Fire Service Southern Tablelands attended. After five hours, they successfully extinguished the blaze. The heritage-listed building was completely destroyed and the damage was estimated at more than $500,000.

An eyewitness said the fire was in the former female section of the psychiatric hospital known as Ward 15.

The building was unoccupied at the time and no injuries were reported.

Hospital fire

The fire ravaged Ward 15 of the old psychiatric hospital. Photo: Fire & Rescue NSW.

Investigators were on the scene on Saturday and into Sunday morning and ruled the cause of fire “undetermined”. The matter was referred to the police.

Officers from the Hume Police District commenced an investigation, appealing for anyone with information, including dash-cam or CCTV footage from the area, to come forward.

Following inquiries, two boys – aged 13 and 14 – attended Goulburn Police Station this week.

The boys will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act for destroying property with fire and entering enclosed lands. The exact nature of this will be decided by a Specialist Youth Officer.

Chinese investor company Australia China International bought the Kenmore Hospital and grounds in 2015 and announced grand plans for its restoration in 2016. Since then, the property has continued to degrade at the hands of nature and vandals.

A fire has previously been started in the old chapel, the rare Australian cedar doors and stain-glass windows have been smashed, and many of the slate tiles on the roofs are broken, cracked and letting in rain. Marble fireplace surrounds have either been stolen or removed.

Original Article published by James Coleman on The RiotACT.

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I just noticed this article after Googling “Kenmore Hospital” wondering what was been done following its sale to Chinese investors. To my dismay the answer is “nothing”. In fact it is worse than nothing. I would not be surprised if this is a deliberate ploy by the new owners to deliberately let it get run down to make it easier for the government to let them re-develop the site. Did they have any real intention of restoring it? To let such a significant heritage site rot like this is an absolute disgrace. Who is accountable and what is being done to arrest its decline? Please stand up.

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