RESIDENTS were left counting the cost after vandals last night set fire to their community pizza oven opened only two years ago by world champion pizza chef Theo Kalogeracos.
Glen Forrest Community Garden volunteer Kelly Hawkins said nearby residents noticed the clay oven ablaze and an early morning dog walker raised the alarm about 4.30am.
“The double layered and locked oven door was forced open and damaged for (the vandals) to gain access to the oven,” Ms Hawkins said.
“It’s very disappointing to have an important community asset like this destroyed so carelessly.”
Crews from Glen Forrest Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade extinguished the blaze about half-an-hour after they received the report of a log fire at the community garden.
Ms Hawkins said the outdoor oven was at the centre of many events and brought the community together.
“We don’t have an estimate yet for repair costs, but the oven cost around $3000 to build and the extensive cracks caused by the intensity of the blaze (and possibly the rapid cooling by the firies putting it out) have damaged it structurally,” she said.
Local people, artists and gardeners contributed to the project made possible through fundraising, donations and a wellbeing grant from St John of God Public and Private Hospital in Midland.
A community team of adults and children designed a mosaic pizza preparation table and Wooroloo Prison Farm inmates built the oven foundations.
To support the Glen Forrest Community Garden, visit the group online or call Kelly on 0403 961 498.