Breakthrough in cold case killing of teenager Arthur Haines who was burned to death in 1998 fire

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Stunning breakthrough in cold case killing of a teenage boy who was burned to death in his friend‚Äôs house ‚Äď as a man is charged with deliberately lighting the fire 24 years later

  • Breakthrough made in cold case killing with an extradition order sought¬†
  • A 55-year old man was arrested on Wednesday in relation to the incident¬†
  • Arthur Haines, 13, died after becoming trapped in a fire in Sydney in 1998
  • Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the building late at night¬†

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A man has been arrested over the cold case killing of a teenage boy in a house fire more than two decades ago in a huge cold case breakthrough. 

Homicide Squad detectives arrested a 55-year old man in Queensland on Wednesday over the alleged murder of Redfern teenager Arthur Haines. 

Queensland Police are now working alongside NSW Police to extradite the man to NSW. 

Haines, 13, was staying at a friend’s house in Sydney’s Waterloo when a fire ripped through the home at about 10.30pm on Thursday April 9, 1998.

A 55-year old man has been arrested by Queensland Police with an extradition being sought to NSW over the house fire that killed 13-year old Arthur Haines on Thursday April 9, 1998

A 55-year old man has been arrested by Queensland Police with an extradition being sought to NSW over the house fire that killed 13-year old Arthur Haines on Thursday April 9, 1998

Arthur had been sleeping in a room on the top floor of the home on Walker Street when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the building (pictured: The charred remains of the home)

Arthur had been sleeping in a room on the top floor of the home on Walker Street when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the building (pictured: The charred remains of the home)

Arthur had been sleeping in a room on the top floor of the home on Walker Street when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the building (pictured: The charred remains of the home)

The teenager suffered serious injuries and was rushed to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, but sadly died 11 weeks later.

Despite extensive inquiries the matter remained unsolved with detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad re-investigating in January 2020.

Following inquiries and public appeals for information, strike force detectives applied for and were granted an arrest warrant for a 55-year-old man, believed to be interstate.

The man was arrested around 11am on Wednesday by detectives from the Queensland Police Service Homicide Investigation Unit at a Brisbane home.

Julie Szabo, the mother of Arthur Haines, who died in a house fire in 1998 holding a photograph of her son as she speaks to the media during an appeal for information in 2018

Julie Szabo, the mother of Arthur Haines, who died in a house fire in 1998 holding a photograph of her son as she speaks to the media during an appeal for information in 2018

Julie Szabo, the mother of Arthur Haines, who died in a house fire in 1998 holding a photograph of her son as she speaks to the media during an appeal for information in 2018

NSW Police detectives have since travelled to Queensland, where they will apply for the man’s extradition to NSW at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.

13-year-old Arthur had been sleeping in a room on the top floor of the home on Walker Street when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the building.

He was trapped on the top floor of the three-story terrace as the fire began engulfing the home.

He had to run through the fire to escape and suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body.

There were approximately six other people at the home at the time but they managed to escape uninjured.

When fire crews alive the ground floor had been destroyed.

Julie Szabo is comforted by Police officer Angela Cook after speaking to the media during an appeal for information

Julie Szabo is comforted by Police officer Angela Cook after speaking to the media during an appeal for information

Julie Szabo is comforted by Police officer Angela Cook after speaking to the media during an appeal for information