THERE were more than cigarettes burning in the Kadina Park toilets at Goonellabah yesterday.
Motorists travelling along Ballina Road were subjected to ‘plumes of thick black smoke’ shortly after 1.30pm as flames threatened to engulf the eco-friendly toilet in the park near Kadina High School.
An off-duty female security guard from Summerland Security happened to be passing and alerted the Lismore City Council.
Numerous passing motorists and witnesses also called Triple-0.
It is thought someone stuffed the bowl with toilet paper and set it on fire.
The fibreglass toilet was completely destroyed by fire, which also gutted the cubical and set the poly-carbonate roofing alight.
A quick response by the Goonellabah Fire Brigade ‘just around the corner’ saved the facility from near certain destruction.
Station Officer Conlan said the burning toilet and plastic roof created the toxic black smoke.
“We sent two firefighters in with breathing apparatus and had the fire under control fairly quickly,” he said as officers taped off the area.
“We have determined the fire to be suspicious and we will be contacting the police.
“Meanwhile, we’ve handed it over to the capable hands of the council.”
Lismore City Council employee Ross Dowse was also driving by at the time and was disappointed to see the council’s high-tech water-saving toilets on fire.