Fire crews dampen down the smoking remains of the homestead on Sunday. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Fire safety investigators and an electrical specialist will
examine an ''area of interest'' in the ceiling of the
historic Lower Shotover Rd house which was partly destroyed
by fire on Sunday morning.
Fire safety management officer for North Otago Stu Ide said
he conducted an initial examination of the site yesterday.
The Otago Daily Times yesterday reported property
owner Phil George suspected the fire could have been caused
by a mouse chewing through an electrical wire in the ceiling.
Mr Ide said the fire was ''possibly associated with the
Property owners Phil and Jane George had been sleeping in a
newer part of the building which was spared by the fire.
Their two friends, John Mills and Greg Clarke had been
staying in the historic part of the home and were woken by
the smoke alarms.
Mr Mills and Mr Clarke suffered smoke inhalation, for which
they were treated at Lakes District Hospital.
Mr Ide said he was ''exceptionally delighted that those
people were alerted by smoke alarms''.
''It just brings home the message that smoke alarms save
He said the key message was material possessions could be
replaced but lives could not.