Petrol poured on comic books was used to burn down a Nomads bikie clubhouse in Byron Bay in the middle of the night, authorities say.
Arsonists poured petrol onto a pile of comic books to burn down the clubhouse of a bikie group in Byron Bay, authorities believe.
The Nomads clubhouse and three Harley Davidson motorbikes were destroyed in the blaze which began just after 3.30am on Monday.
The fire, which took three hours to put out, also destroyed a neighbouring sign-writing shop and an artist’s storage unit.
Neighbours say they heard voices outside the clubhouse in Brigantine Street just before the fire.
Fire and Rescue NSW commander Phil Sheedy said the fire was apparently started with an accelerant – probably petrol – poured onto a pile of books, magazines and comics found in front of the building.
“A fire doesn’t take hold that quickly without some sort of help,” Mr Sheedy told AAP.
Police are not ruling out conflict between rival bikie gangs but say they have no evidence of it.
The Nomads are based on the southern end of Queensland’s Gold Coast, but have a presence in Byron Bay, over the NSW border.
Police believe the fire is not linked to an earlier incident in which shots were fired into a house and car in Banora Point, 45 minutes to the north.
The family inside the house were not harmed and police are looking for people who fled in a white sedan early in the morning.
“We believe the intended victim was a relative of one of those people in the house,” said Superintendent Stuart Wilkins, from Tweed and Byron Local Area Command.
“We believe it’s a dispute between two groups of men from the area that has been running for a couple of years that significantly escalated last night.”