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Fire fraud: ‘Victim’ arrested after stabbing himself, killing dog

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A man who police initially thought was a victim after he was stabbed and found at his burning Surry Hills restaurant has been charged over the fire.

The man, who was found with stab wounds to his back, was rescued from the roof of the Essenza Italian Kitchen, on the corner of Devonshire St and Crown St in Surry Hills in early June.

The restaurant manager was taken to hospital but his pet German Sheppard couldn’t be saved from the blaze.

Police have been searching for a suspect but now say there was only one person inside the business at the time the fire started.

The 37-year-old has been charged with damaging property for personal gain.

Police say the man deliberately set the restaurant on fire and provided false and misleading information to detectives.

They also allege he knowingly left his dog inside the building after the fire started.

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Johnson tells Ben Fordham a man is in the process of being charged.

“It’s been a very thorough and complex investigation.”

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