Paddles: I have nothing left
A man whose home was razed to the ground during a suspicious caravan fire in Mangakino last weekend is devastated at his loss.
The Mangakino Fire Brigade were called to the suspicious caravan fire in the town at the weekend and when arriving were confronted by an armed occupant who would not let them enter the property to fight the fire.
The Rotorua armed offenders squad were called and a 63-year-old man was arrested. He will face firearms related charges in Tokoroa District Court.
The caravan was completely destroyed as a result of the delay and Detective Rick Rudolph said the man faced further charges relating to the fire, however, extensive inquiries are being carried out.
The occupier of the caravan, a man known as ‘‘Paddles’’ who had been living in Mangakino for the last four months said: ‘‘My property was destroyed. My caravan, all of my personal belongings, my other ute, which is fixable but it has been damaged.’’
The avid whitebaiter lost everything including photographs, clothes and wetsuits.
‘‘ Paddles’’ said he stayed in Tokoroa on Saturday and when he went back to Mangakino on Sunday morning, his home was razed to the ground.
‘‘I got back in Mangakino on Sunday and there were cops everywhere. I have nothing. All I have are the clothes that I am standing in,’’ he said.
‘‘ Paddles’’ said he would appreciate some help from the community.
‘‘I need a trailer to move some of my stuff.’’
Tokoroa Police are also investigating a series of suspicious fires on Kelso and Jedburg Streets between 3am and 3.45am last Friday.
The acts saw Kelso Superette’s two rubbish bins and the post box outside the shop deliberately set on fire.
Mr Rudolph said that there are extensive inquiries to be completed but believes the fires were set by the same person.
If you have any information contact Mr Rudolph on 886 5189.
ORDEAL: Mangakino resident ‘‘Paddles’’ lost everything in a caravan fire last week.