OWNER'S OFFER: Arson victim invites fire bug to meet workers
DESPITE a 'senseless' torching that left one of his work utes burnt out and unusable, Choices Flooring owner Daniel Kuhn's first thought wasn't to call for harsh punishment for the perpetrators.
He instead invited those responsible to visit his workplace and meet the hard-working people battling to keep a business afloat during a drought, that have been left to deal with the blow.
Mr Kuhn said his wife Robyn first alerted him to the attack after she arrived at work on Thursday morning to find the ute had been set alight during the night.
A cardboard 'wick' was sticking out from the fuel tank of the ute, with all the windows blacked out and the front passenger seat had completely disintegrated.
"It felt like a bit of the kick in the guts really, when you're working hard and going through the drought," Mr Kuhn said.
"We've had a good couple of years but we employ six people and other sub-contractors and you work long hours."
It was fortunate it appeared the doors had been shut in the ute after the fire was lit as it smothered the flames, he said.
"We might have been talking about the building catching fire," he said.
Mr Kuhn said he would now be without the ute for at least a week and some of the tools inside the ute were damaged, as plastic coverings melted over them.
But retribution for what he has lost was far from his mind.
"I'd love them to come and do a couple of days work with our installers and the good quality guys that are working with us," Mr Kuhn said.
"I think it would be nice for them to understand how hard our contractors work and it's impacting them directly.
"It's more the fact that we'll be at least a week without a vehicle for our apprentice... it impacts on another young bloke trying to work."
Mr Kuhn said it could be good for the children or adults responsible to do an honest day's work, to help them with social engagement.
"There's obviously a disconnect if you feel you can burn a ute," he said.
Mr Kuhn said he was left feeling sick after the attack and considering bumping up security at the Wood St business he runs with his wife, Robyn.
It was rare for the vehicle to be left outside, but it was insured, he said.
Warwick CIB Detective Senior Constable Glen Roche said in his experience that kind of attack was unusual.
"A car being stolen isn't (unusual), but it is uncommon for a burnt car to be found in the carpark of someone's business," Snr Const Roche said.
"You have to consider that someone is targeting the store."
The ute fire is being investigated.
Anyone with information is urged to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.