The man at the centre of a fiery armed standoff with police
is being treated at Waikato Hospital as police ramp up an
investigation into the incident.
The 41-year-old was transferred from Tauranga Hospital to
Waikato yesterday where he was admitted to the hospital's
intensive care unit in a critical condition.
He has burns to his torso and hands, plus cuts to his wrists
and throat and required immediate first aid when taken into
custody on Tuesday night.
Armed police were called to the man's home on Ruahihi Rd
earlier that day after a person passing by on nearby State
Highway 29 spotted the fire.
However, the man at the property hindered police and
obstructed firefighters' efforts to access the blaze,
brandishing an unknown weapon. He was taken into custody when
he would not negotiate with police.
Yesterday, police completed a scene examination of the
remains at the property.
Tauranga Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner said the fire
was being treated as an arson.
However, it was too early to determine whether the man would
"The occupant of the house, we are not able to speak to him
for a few days for medical reasons," Mr Turner said.
A Waikato Hospital spokeswoman said the man was last night in
a serious but stable condition in the hospital's high
Police and fire investigators at the scene yesterday wore
dust masks and used shovels to help sift through the remains.
Fire investigator Jon Rewi was unable to comment yesterday,
as the matter was being dealt with by police, he said.
Police could not be reached for further comment.
- Kiri Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times