YouTube star friendlyjordies is taking an indefinite break from posting controversial videos after his beachfront home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs was ‘set on fire’.
The online creator, real name Jordan Shanks-Markovina, released a video late Wednesday night saying he was stepping down from the platform on which he attacked political enemies.
“I want to take this opportunity to say that I think we’re going to just turn the videos down a bit,” he told fans.
“And by sound back I mean it was for a while for obvious reasons. We’ll come back to this at some point, but for now, friendlyjordies is on an indefinite hiatus.’
Later in the video, Shanks-Markovina quoted a line from the Emperor in Star Wars: Episide III – Revenge of the Sith: “The attempt on my life has scarred and deformed me, but I assure you my resolve has never been stronger.”
YouTube star friendlyjordies, whose real name is Jordan Shanks-Markovina, is taking an indefinite hiatus from posting controversial videos after his home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs was “set on fire”. Shanks-Markovina can be seen in his latest video
Emergency services arrived at Shanks-Markovina’s home in Wilga Street, Bondi, at 12.30am on Wednesday to find the front of the residence ablaze (above).
The fire at Shanks-Markovina’s Bondi home was the second targeted attack on the beachfront property in a week, his lawyer has claimed.
Emergency services arrived at the Wilga Street home at 12:30am Wednesday to find the front of the home ablaze.
Shanks-Markovina, who rose to fame with his political videos, lives behind the house and was not at home at the time of the fire.
In Wednesday night’s video, Shanks-Markovina said he spent hours at Bondi police station giving a statement about the fire.
He joked that when police asked him if he had any enemies, he replied, “How long do you have?”
Shanks-Markovina said he had received calls of support from former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and NSW shadow prosecutor Michael Daley.
Earlier Wednesday, his law firm, Xenophon Davies, said they suspected the fire was a potential act of terrorism and attempted murder.
Shanks-Markovina lives in the back of the house and was not home at the time of the fire. The house was sealed off by investigators when it got light
“We confirm that Jordan Shanks’ home was firebombed last night,” the company tweeted. “He’s safe.
“We hope that today all possible police resources are devoted to securing evidence and information.
“It might even justify a task force focused on terrorism and attempted assassination rather than dangerous jokes.”
Shanks-Markovina continued to post content on his YouTube channel Wednesday without reference to the fire.
He appeared wearing sunglasses and a Blacktown City football shirt in a new clip about the Victorian state election, believed to have been recorded before the fire.
It was also revealed that a smaller fire broke out at Bondi’s home on November 16 but was extinguished before it could do any significant damage.
Firefighters fought frantically to contain the blaze Wednesday morning, but the home sustained significant damage.
NSW Police are treating the fire as suspicious.
Two elderly residents escaped from the front of the burning property, while three neighbors fled their home next door.
Rescue workers confirmed that no one was injured in the fire.
Video from the scene showed the house destroyed by fire and the rooms reduced to ashes.
Fire and Rescue NSW’s Adam Dewberry said there would be an inquiry into whether the fire was linked to the November 16 incident.
Specialized forensic police officers and dogs “trained in the use of fire accelerants” were inside the home on Wednesday combing through the debris.
The sprawling beachfront home, described as a “lovely old 1930s house with lots of wood,” suffered significant damage from the fire (pictured). A neighboring property was also damaged
‘The cause and origin of the fire [are] will indeed be examined today by specialists who will also ensure that the fire has not caused any structural damage elsewhere in the house,” said Mr Dewberry.
Neighbor Astrid Rickard said she was woken up by the sound of the fire but initially thought it was fireworks for the World Cup.
Australia played their first game against France on Wednesday morning, with the game kicking off at 6am AEDT.
“We woke up and I actually thought it was fireworks for the World Cup, but I was looking out of the living room [window] and basically burned next door,” Ms. Rickard said.
“We quickly left the house and grabbed the dog. A lot of people were already out on the street… it was pretty crowded.’
Neighbor Astrid Rickard initially thought the fire was fireworks for the World Cup, but when she realized the house next door was on fire, she grabbed her dog and evacuated her house (pictured left: Mrs. Rickard with her dog).
Ms Rickard said she was immediately concerned the fire would be linked to friendly Jordies.
“Friendlyjordies lives way back, so we kind of feel like it has something to do with that,” Ms Rickard said.
“This is the second attack in a week so being right next door is a bit worrying.
“Someone obviously pulled it out for someone because this isn’t a normal house fire, it doesn’t just happen, someone threw something on that porch and set the house on fire.”
Police have urged anyone with information about the two fires to contact the Eastern Suburbs Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Jordan Shanks-Markovina, known as friendlyjordies on his popular political commentary YouTube channel, lives at the back of the affected property