CT Electrical owner Aaron Carr cleans up smoke and fire
damage at the business in Lorne St, South Dunedin,
yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
The actions of ''idiots'' will cost thousands of dollars.
A fire at South Dunedin business CT Electrical, which
appeared to be deliberate, took hold of a carport area,
gutting stock, the building's floor joists and sending acrid
smoke into an office and nearby garage.
CT Electrical owner Aaron Carr said he estimated the cost of
the fire to be between $40,000 and $50,000.
However, the cost could yet rise, as he had not assessed the
extent of smoke damage from the fire, which started about 9pm
on Monday at the Lorne St business.
Three other fires were lit in the area, including one near
two 45kg lpg cylinders.
Swift's Coffee Time owner Brian Swift, whose business is
beside Mr Carr's, said the fires ''could have been
The ''idiots'' stuffed cardboard and paper around his
business' lpg cylinders and lit the material, Mr Swift said.
''[It could have been] a hell of a lot worse,'' he said.
''They could have killed themselves.
''They are obviously not that bloody clever to try and light
a fire by the gas bottles.''
His business was undamaged and, apart from a ''pile of
ashes'' around them, neither were the cylinders.
Mr Carr was philosophical about the damage to his business.
''It is what it is,'' he said.
''You can't sit around sulking about it.
''We have got to get on getting on.
''Nobody was hurt, that's the main thing.''
The business was fully insured, but he had some
''irreplaceable gear'' stored in the garage next to the
''This whole area was filled with smoke,'' Mr Carr said,
pointing at the garage.
''You could see the smoke coming out of the roller door.''
Fire Service fire investigator Michael Harrison said he
believed the fires were deliberately lit.
He assessed the electrical wiring at Mr Carr's business and
found no fault, he said.
The fire-starters were lucky their actions had not caused
more damage or hurt anybody, he said.
Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator
Senior Sergeant Dave Scott said it appeared four fires were
deliberately lit in Lorne and Broughton Sts.
Police wanted to speak to two youths seen running along
Hillside Rd about the time of the fires.
One was wearing a red hoodie and the other was in a green
hoodie and tan pants, he said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Dunedin police
on 471-4800. Information can also be provided anonymously to
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.