Investigators are considering whether a cooked TikTok “trend” might be linked to the fire that ripped into a vacant building in Sydney’s Surry Hills last week.
The towering inferno managed to burn through two buildings last Thursday and caused some of the structures to collapse. Per 9News, the flame also engulfed a car outside the building and 120 firefighters were called in to fight the blaze.
Four children, reportedly students from an Eastern suburbs private school, have come forward in relation to the incident.
2GB radio’s Ben Fordham has claimed NSW Police’s Arson Squad are investigating if the Sydney fire was caused by an aerosol as part of a TikTok trend.
“It’s one of those crazy crazes that has spread on social media,” he said.
“I’ve seen a video online, it’s been made by a kid teaching others how to make a deodorant bomb, I’m not going to describe how it’s made.
“Apparently deodorant bombs are a bit of a thing. The deodorant bomb is dangerous enough, but when you add a flame to it, you can only imagine the result.”
The “trend” involves kids essentially starting fires with deodorant cans or causing explosions by setting them aflame. “Trend” or “craze” is probably a bit of a stretch — it’s not a widespread practice — but yes, there are videos of kids pulling wild stunts like this on TikTok.
Fordham said he learned of the trend from a tip-off by a concerned mother who personally knows the boys allegedly involved with the fire.
“They come from good families, they go to nice schools, they live around the eastern suburbs. And at least one of them goes to school just a block away from the vacant building that burnt to the ground,” he said.
The radio host claimed that a boy had been inside the building before the fire erupted and had taken a photo inside and posted it on social media.
“One of the investigators familiar with the case told me they’re actually good kids, good kids that put themselves in a really bad situation,” he said.
“That’s not excusing them. They made a really big mistake and they’re going to pay a price over it.”
The news comes after the Daily Telegraph reported the abandoned building was a popular hangout spot for kids, with one teen telling the publication: “It was a cool place to explore and watch the sunset… It got popular off TikTok.”
Specialists are monitoring the gutted building after it was demolished on Tuesday, with concern for the structural integrity of its surroundings.
While no deaths or injuries have been reported in relation to the Sydney fire, it’s been reported that 15 people were sleeping rough in the building before it burned down. Two of these people are yet to be accounted for.