Police ponder link in fire and assault
Police say they cannot rule out a link as they try to piece together a suspicious fire and a serious assault on Morgans Rd in Timaru on Tuesday night.
The fire ripped through a wing of the former St Vianney’s Home of Compassion complex just after a serious home invasion assault nearby.
Police are searching for two men in relation to the assault while nearby the fire required six crews, including a specialist command unit and two executive officers, to put out.
Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Quested, of Timaru, said it was early days in the investigation into both incidents.
‘‘We don’t have a lot of information at the moment.
‘‘We’re just carrying out the investigation and just trying to piece together what’s actually happened.
‘‘It seems unusual that the two things have happened right there together, but we’ve got no evidence to say they’re linked.’’
Quested said as part of the investigation into both matters, a link was an ‘‘obvious avenue’’ to explore.
‘‘We can’t rule it and we can’t rule it in,’’ he said.
Quested said police were aware of information that people had been going in and out of the St Vianney’s building since it had been abandoned.
Police had been warning people to stay out of the building as early as 2013.
Sergeant Geoff McCrostie, of Timaru, said at the time the building was private property and not for people to explore.
Firefighters bringing the St Vianney’s fire under control.