A guest caused more than $10,000 worth of damage after he set fire to a room at the Normandie Inn, a court has heard.
Emergency service officers' lives were put at risk when the man allegedly barricaded himself inside and refused to leave the well-alight, smoke-filled room at the North Wollongong motel on Sunday night.
Four police officers and the guest Paul William Knight, who also uses the name Mark John Lord, had to be hospitalised to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The 46-year-old Springfield man was refused bail when he appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday.
Documents tendered to court said Knight booked a two-night stay at the motel on Saturday after he was released from custody two days before.
On Sunday, police allege Knight drank alcohol and smoked cannabis and about 10.40pm he allegedly pushed the bed against the doorway of room 215, blocking it from being opened.
He then used the coffee table and lounge to barricade himself inside before he used paper and wood from other furniture to allegedly start a fire.
Fire and Rescue crews urgently arrived on scene to find other guests fleeing the building about 10.52pm.
Crews tried to enter the well-alight room but it was barricaded, only allowing a partial opening.
Firefighters tried to persuade Knight to leave the room however he refused while they tried to douse the flames as best they could from outside.
Police officers arrived and heard a loud explosion from the fire flaring up.
They tried to convince Knight to exit the smoke-filled room but he refused and allegedly began throwing objects at emergency service personnel causing them to retreat.
They were in the hallway breathing in smoke for more than five minutes while Knight had been exposed to the fire for more than 15 minutes.
Police officers were able to force their way into the room before Knight was restrained and led outside the building.
Paramedics tried to treat Knight however he was highly agitated, argumentative and aggressive towards police, who arrested him.
Meanwhile, firefighters extinguished the blaze and contained the damage to room 215, with smoke also filling the hallway.
A crime scene was established and officers believe the fire's point of origin was the bed mattress and a wooden chair, with the estimated damage between $10,000 to $15,000.
Four police officers were treated for smoke inhalation at Wollongong Hospital.
Knight was also treated for smoke inhalation and he remained in hospital under police guard on Thursday. He was charged at his bedside with causing between $5000 and $15,000 damage to property by fire.
In court on Thursday, police prosecutor Sergeant Tarnya Pavlin opposed Knight's release noting his alleged actions appeared to be deliberate.
She said Knight had a lengthy criminal history and he was facing a full-time custodial sentence if convicted.
Defence lawyer Lemar Miakhel said his client was suffering from a number of mental health issues and came to the Wollongong area to be with his brother.
Mr Miakhel said Knight did not have permanent housing but would comply with strict bail conditions.
Magistrate Susan McGowan labelled the allegations "an extremely dangerous act" and said Knight was a risk to the community before she refused to grant him bail.
The case was adjourned to November 10.
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