This article originally appeared on VICE AU
Four kids have been charged with burning down the former Australian Big Brother house. It’s alleged that the children, aged between 11 and 15, deliberately started a fire inside the abandoned mansion—located near the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, Queensland—just after 2pm on Saturday. The ABC reports that the house was completely destroyed in the blaze.
Queensland Police located and arrested six kids who were spotted running away from the scene. Two nine-year olds were released after assisting police with their inquiries, while the remaining four were charged with arson and “will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act”, according to a police media report.
Fire and emergency services arrived shortly after plumes of smoke started billowing from the house on Saturday afternoon, but were unable to save the building before it was completely gutted by fire. One witness told myGC at the time that “cops were everywhere, sussing teenagers around the area. One teen got absolutely tackled by roughly four police officers.”
The destruction of the mansion comes just weeks after a YouTuber uploaded a video of the dilapidated set. The footage, which has been viewed more than 31,000 times, showed that the house had been vandalised and left in a state of severe disrepair since it was abandoned five years ago.
The Big Brother house has been owned by the Queensland Investment Corporation since July 2009, but had been sitting unoccupied since the show’s cancellation in 2014.