Take­away a clue in siege-house blaze

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - TALIA SHADWELL

‘‘Due to the very sen­si­tive na­ture of re­cent events in Kokiri Cres, witnesses were re­luc­tant to give their names,.’’

It was too dan­ger­ous for investigators to en­ter the charred ru­ins of a Porirua house – so the ar­son is likely to re­main a mys­tery.

The sus­pi­cious fire ripped through the state house only weeks af­ter tragic events at the prop­erty ended in a 26-hour siege and gun­man Pita Tekira’s death in an­other flat on the same street on April 23.

How­ever, there is one clue in the 26a Kokiri Cres ar­son case, the lo­ca­tion where Tekira killed po­lice dog Gazza and a po­lice­man was in­jured leap­ing through a win­dow.

Some­one left be­hind some food in poly­styrene con­tainer, the kind com­monly used by Chi­nese take­away shops.

‘‘This con­tained a metal spoon and still looked rel­a­tively fresh when it was found by po­lice,’’ De­tec­tive Sergeant Dave Jones said.

‘‘We are cur­rently test­ing this con­tainer and spoon to see if we can find any ev­i­dence.’’

Fire in­ves­ti­ga­tor Rus­sell Postle­waight said the ru­ins were too haz­ardous to walk through.

‘‘The fire started in the lounge and burned freely and fiercely through the rest of the house. It made it dif­fi­cult for the fire­fight­ers to make en­try.’’

His re­port, re­leased un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act, said the Hous­ing New Zealand flat’s oc­cu­pant was away on May 1 when neigh­bours awoke to the sound of ex­plo­sions.

One told investigators he stepped out­side in time to see fire com­ing from the lounge win­dow. He called 111 and the first fire truck was there within six min­utes, but the house was al­ready con­sumed.

Its roof con­tained asbestos, a fire re­tar­dant his­tor­i­cally used in con­struc­tion.

Due to the asbestos and the ‘‘se­vere’’ de­struc­tion of the up­per floor, po­lice and fire investigators agreed it was too dan­ger­ous to in­spect in­side, so they ex­am­ined the house from the out­side only, us­ing a fire en­gine’s ‘‘snorkel’’ to lift them over the prop­erty.

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