ACCUSED arsonist Chad Musgrave, already charged with sparking 12 fires in cars, skip bins and rubbish at Windale during high temperatures and strong winds in November, has allegedly been linked to three fires at Charlestown that damaged two cars and a home.
Mr Musgrave, 33, of Windale, was represented by solicitor Steffany Sneesby when he appeared in Belmont Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Long Bay Correctional Centre.
Already charged with 12 counts of intentionally or recklessly damaging property by fire, police have since charged Mr Musgrave with 10 more offences, including the most serious charge of intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage property with intent to endanger life in relation to a fire at Merran Avenue about 9pm on October 23.
Mr Musgrave has also been charged with six counts of failing to comply with a total fire ban in relation to blazes he allegedly lit at Windale in November.
He did not enter any pleas or apply for bail and the matter was adjourned until March.
Police say Mr Musgrave lit the Windale fires in five cars, five abandoned mattresses, a skip bin and a pile of rubbish in James Street, Bourke Street, Kalyan Way, Talinga Close and Balemo Crescent either late at night or in the early morning on four occasions between November 7 and 20. Four cars were destroyed by fire in James Street on November 15, police say.
While each fire was lit under the cover of darkness, Lake Macquarie was enduring periods of high fire danger at the time of the arson attacks, with temperatures reaching 33 degrees and winds gusting at 52km/h, according to police.
After his arrest, Mr Musgrave allegedly told police he has a predilection for lighting fires and "needs help".